The key to a winning team will always be effective leadership. As a leader, whether as a business owner, management, or a business consultant –learning to build a winning team is an invaluable skill.  A team that works successfully and cohesively together is a team that takes productivity to the next level. As a consultant, I’ve had the pleasure of spending mass amounts of time with different organizations. I’ve been able to watch businesses grow and change from the ground up. Whether a business is just starting out or has to be completely restructured, building a strong team is the biggest resource to success.

Through my years of business management consulting, as well as owning my own businesses, here are the three steps to building a winning team:

Trim the Fat

Find the Right Players

Practice Fundamentals

How do you trim the fat of the people you’ve inherited and bring in resources that can be a winning team?  You have to start by taking inventory. Who are your players? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? You should see, fairly early on, who is an asset to the business and who is draining resources, morale, or time. Trim the fat where you can. This is where the “business over people” mentality has to come into play. You may like someone as a person while ultimately deciding that they aren’t what is best for the business. If you want to build a winning team, you have to make the tough choices.

 The second key step to building a winning team is finding the right players. You can’t just trim the fat and leave yourself and the rest of your organization floundering. Find the right players –the star players. Spend some of your budget on some serious assets. Finding the right players is twofold. You are looking for experts in their field to take you to the next level while also finding players who are willing to work hard for the common goals of your business.

Once you’ve trimmed the fat and pulled in some star players, you have to have everyone go back and practice the fundamentals. It’s great to have superstars, but it’s not as great to have superstars who have forgotten the basics. Cover all of your bases. This is the same as a superstar sports team. It’s great if they can score those points –but they still have to remember how to dribble the ball.

When you have your team in place, you have to remember to lead by example. Even the best teams will fall apart without effective leadership. Do you want more engaged employees? Become more engaged yourself. Do you want more productivity? Lead by example. Model the performance and the drive that you are looking for in your team. Expect that, reinforce that, and follow those same expectations yourself.

What do you think the most important steps are to building a winning team? What is the biggest downfall of leaders and teams in the business world? What are your thoughts? Comment below!