Beware of these biggest myths about successful teams, as a leader these can be your biggest obstacle in creating a successful team –
1) Best teams have best people –
A successful team is usually a mix of medium to good performers. A team does not necessarily have to be a Justice League team to be successful. More than often it is the collective effort which sets apart a great team from a normal team. This collective effort depends a lot on how team members complement, support and work with each other for a common goal.
Therefore instead of trying to spend too much time in picking the best people, try to invest time in utilizing the skill-set of the available members in the best possible way.
2) A great team acts like a family –
This is a famous go to line, but reality is that successful teams do not necessarily follow this rule.
Every team is made up of different types of people who have different background and upbringing. Recognizing different personalities of the team members is important to make them feel part of the team.
Being friendly and professional with each other is good enough for the team members. It is not necessary that they have to be best friends with each other.
For team building try to increase mutual respect and acceptance, do not force people hang out together.
3) Successful teams make less mistakes –
There is no decisive data that a successful team makes less mistakes compared to a not so successful team.
Acceptance for mistake allows teams to be more innovative and truthful. Fear of being punished prevents members from being creative and trying new ideas.
Due to this reason, sometimes successful teams tend to make more mistakes.
Create an atmosphere where members of the team could be innovative and make mistakes without having fear to get punished. As I always say, make as many mistakes as you want, but do not repeat the same mistake. Repeating a mistake means we are not learning from it and we are not doing anything to take care of it in future.
4) There is no place for individuals in a great team –
Remember we all want to be recognized and treated as individual human beings, not as part of a herd.
Performance of each and every team member is equally important and must be tracked at one-to-one level.
When team members are recognized and appreciated they take pride in the work they are doing.
Communicate to every member why his/her work is important for the success of the whole team. This will also help you as a leader in picking the most suitable person for a job.
5) A great team would always have heroes in them –
There is no problem is identifying best performers in the team. However promoting Hero culture usually causes two issues. –
A hero which saved the day by doing something extra ordinary, usually highlights a major gap with your processes. You must re-evaluate the situation and think how you would you handle the same situation without a hero in the team. Remember you will not be lucky all the time, so have a system in place to take care of the issues.
Second, doing hero worship in a team can negatively impact the moral of the other team members. Giving too much importance to one person will either start the game of internal competition (read politics), or even worse, it will make other members of the team feel neglected and disjointed.
No one in team should be more important than the team, which means anyone should not be allowed to negatively impact work of other members.