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Building a Team

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Building a team in an organization requires a focused and concerted effort by the leader in the organization. A team is not formed by simply nominating people to a team, holding meetings and promoting teamwork.


[edit] Best Practices

  1. Hire people that understand, believe in the need for and know how to work with or build a team
  2. Coach people; which requires coaching skills and techniques beyond simply being someone’s “boss”
  3. Limit direct reports to six people, as generally most people can only effectively manage six direct reports
  4. Define the team's mission clearly, and realistically
  5. Relate the team to the important functions of the company or division
  6. Conduct effective communications with and amongst the team based on a principle of “what will help them do their job better basis” not on a “need to know basis”
  7. Develop and utilize personal relationships with team members
  8. Clearly define expectations; duties; and measure objectively whether these are getting done
  9. Shared mission for the team
  10. Fairness to all team members is needed:
  • no favoritism
  • equal access
  • hold each person accountable equally

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[edit] Author

The author of this article is John Sund.

John Sund has a wide variety of leadership and management experiences in private firms, public office and non-profits.

John has worked for five years in private law practice. He has seven years in the legislative arena: three years in a senior staff position and four years as an elected Representative in the Alaska legislature. He served as President and CEO of Waterfall Group; a company that managed a 60 room hotel, restaurant and bar, commercial retail property, air taxi and built and managed a large remote salt water fishing resort in southeast Alaska. For sixteen years he was a founding partner of Silver Lining Seafoods, officer, Board member and Vice President of NorQuest Seafoods, a seafood processing business that grew from a start up to sales over $100 million. He has also served on many public boards, commissions and non-profit organizations.

For the last decade, John has worked as President of Stellar North LLC, with small and medium size companies and non-profit organizations to develop solid strategic plans to build profitable and sustainable organizations.


  • Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College: Juris Doctor LLB
  • Western Washington University: B.A. History; B.A. Political Science; Education Certificate

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