There is no topic more important to managers than “How To Build a Great Team”! That’s because the bulk of work gets done in this structure. It doesn’t matter whether you are in sports, technology, medicine, or almost any other industry – great teams are key to success.

Building Great Teams

So much has been written about building great teams. I see a handful of key aspects that every manager needs to do.

  1. Clarify expectations. Turn these expectations into SMART goals and get the team’s buy-in.
  2. Ensure the team defines roles, operating models, and ground rules. There are likely to be many different personalities on a team. The upfront discussion and resulting clarity around goals, operating models, and ground rules will pay huge dividends as the team executes.
  3. Develop a culture of openness and transparency. This starts with you. Be open with them. Provide an environment where they can be open with you. Focus on the issues, not the people as you talk through challenging topics.
  4. Value all of the members of the team, and the roles they play. In order to get the most out of a team, each member needs to feel valued and supported.
  5. Provide support. Doing this will hold them accountable to deliver on their goals. This requires a bit of a balancing act where you need to be sympathetic to the challenges that they face, with the support that they require, but let up on the importance they achieve their goals.
  6. Develop, recognize, and reward. It is critically important to engage frequently with the team, providing feedback that is both positive and constructive. Make sure that you are recognizing the individuals and teams, and that they are being rewarded for their accomplishments.

Hear From Experts

Develop Great Managers Podcast

This topic is important enough to create a topical podcast. The panel was hand selected based on… you guessed it, their ability to build great teams! We will have Karen Egan, a Vice President in Global Support Services at VMware, Satya Dodda, a Vice President of Software Development at Oracle, and Vicky Xu, a Research and Development Leader at Google.

These incredible leaders have broad experience in technology, designing, building, testing, releasing, and supporting products. They have led traditional and agile teams with members located in numerous geographies. They have developed team members, worked with under-performers, and found the right balance between engagement and autonomy. These leaders have dealt with every imaginable situation!

Podcast Agenda:

  • Building Great Teams.
    • What are the top 2-3 things that you do to build a great team?
    • Companies are becoming more and more global. What do you do to build teams that cross geographies?
    • Is there anything that you want to say about…
      • The makeup of a team?
      • The frequency you interact with your team and/or team members?
      • Delegation?
      • Culture?Process?
      • Introverts vs Extroverts?
  • Developing Team Members.
    • What do you do to develop the member of your teams?
    • How do you make time for this kind of development?
      • When you think about your time, and with everything else that you have on your plate – how much do you spend on this kind of activity?
    • Is there anything that you do to help with the development of team members that don’t report to you?
  • Dealing With Under-Performers.
    • How do you track the performance of the members of your teams?
      • Are there any tools that you use to help?
    • How do you deal with underperformers on your teams?
    • What if that underperformer does not report to

I know you will enjoy listening to these panelists provide you with insight and advice!


The best managers work hard to communicate the purpose of the team and how it fits into the larger goals of the organization and company.

They work hard to define a team structure where everyone knows their role – and that role not only aligns well with the larger purpose of the team but fits with the development needs and interests of the individual.

They create an open environment for the sharing of ideas and make themselves vulnerable through their comments and actions.

They provide structure and support to make the team and each individual on it, successful.

And, while they ensure each individual knows they are responsible for their career, they are there to help in any way possible.

See Also

Categories: Teams


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