Patty McCord’s Take on Building the Winningest Business Team

When building a team, there is an objective that needs to be completed. So it is important to prioritize finding members that will ensure your team succeeds. While there is a list of important attributes, from contribution to team chemistry, the most important is that each member in the roster adds up to be the winningest team that can be built. As Patty McCord said in an interview with GLO’s Michelle Poscente, “You must create the team that will win for your organization.”

Who do you need?

It is unlikely that more people like you are necessary unless time is the only obstacle preventing success. When a team is put together, more than one area of knowledge or skill set is required to get the job done. Having a team made up of various members with their unique skills and knowledge gives you an advantage over a team made up of the same people. Of course, these skills need to align with the goals you have in place for the team. You want to put together a team that can meet challenging expectations and adapts to problems as they arise.

Assessing the team moving forward.

If you want to assess your team as Patty recommends, the first thing to do is throw the Annual Performance Review in the trash. When it comes to measuring the success of your team, this review is largely ineffective. The amount of possible time between any issues or mistakes occurring and receiving feedback stretches far too long. Your team cannot adapt or learn from mistakes if they occurred six months ago. Feedback needs to be a primary attribute to create the winningest team. Foster an environment where feedback is not only common but appreciated.

Patty suggests an exercise that requires some imagination. Look six months out from today and picture that your team’s performance is blowing away every expectation. Ask yourself what the team is doing then that they are not doing right now. Find the gap between your team today and the pictured team six months out. Maintain the mindset of the winningest team, try to determine what skills and knowledge are necessary to fill the gaps you find. Share these findings with your team and work together to create goals and plans to achieve those goals. If they think it too difficult to manage, discuss what resources they need in order to succeed. Make sure that each member has the capability to do what is asked of them.

Beware the mythical someday.

Creating aspirations and goals for your team is important, but they are worthless if they lack a clear objective and a deadline. If you use the word “someday” when talking to the team, the aspiration takes on a sort of mythical tone. Some will think you mean in a quarter. Others will know you have been saying the same thing for years. The winningest team will always have clearly defined goals. Those goals may require some adjusting as time goes on, but if every team member knows exactly what they are working towards, it makes it all the easier to succeed.


EJ Niemczyk

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