Three Ways to Create Team Success in 2014

list2013 is almost a memory and most businesses are focusing on what the coming year will hold.  With a few short days left in the calendar year, it is important to be thinking about specific strategies that will make your team thrive in 2014.  Let’s face it, competition is stiff and your team is what will differentiate your business from all others.

So, as you begin executing goals in the coming weeks, here are few intentional actions that will ensure your success:

1.  Create Role Clarity
Does every member of your team have a clear understanding of their role?  And better yet, do they understand everyone else’s role on the team? 

Too often tasks remain undone, not from lack of effort but from false assumptions that someone else is taking care of it.  Consider interrupting the normal conversations that often occur in a meeting and spend some time ensuring everyone knows what they have been tasked to do and how individual roles link to one another.

2.  Clarify Authority
Unfortunately, many teams stop just short of completely defining the most important aspect of a role – what authority does each person have?  As the leader, how much empowerment do your team members have? And do they know it?  A power vacuum is created when the individuals on the team lack a clear understanding of who and how decisions are made. 

3.  Close the Gaps
In the absence of information, people make up their own “truth”.  As the leader, your role is simple: communicate progress to the goal.  So what does that mean?

You must take advantage of every opportunity to talk about your performance.  Are you hitting milestones?  What gaps need to be addressed?  Do any individual team members need assistance?  Are the team’s activities being communicated to other stakeholders?  What barriers do you need to remove?  Are you praising success?

Answering these questions will reduce ambiguity and let’s face it:  you will never be accused of communicating too much.

Role definition, clear authority and communication:  three actions that distinguish winning teams.  I was with a team recently that was working through next year’s goals.  The director told them the team, “Let’s soar in 2-0-1-4.”  So as we anticipate the ringing in of a new year, I wish you a year of success…a year of intentional success.

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