5 Ways to Build the Team You Want

Low-functioning teams cause constant frustration. High-functioning teams get stuff done.

If you want to build the team, dedicate time to building. Image of a construction worker.

5 ways to build the team:

#1. Know what you want.

The team you want:

  1. Delivers results when you aren’t involved.
  2. Enjoys their work and celebrates success.
  3. Brings up tough issues; has conflict and resolves it.
  4. Loves to reach and exceed goals.
  5. Honors the strengths around the table.
  6. Knows each other’s weaknesses.
  7. Shares values.

#2. Change the way you think about yourself.

If you want to build the team, dedicate time to building. You can’t build a team when you’re buried in day-to-day execution.

Spend time equipping and encouraging. Spend less time doing the work.

#3. Set priorities.

Teams need to know what matters. Build the team you want by providing clear priorities.

You build the team by doing great things together.

“If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.” Jim Collins

If you have three priorities, you don't have any. Image of a person juggling.

#4. Stop helping competent people.

Overhelpfulness creates weakness in others and frustration for you.

Expect people to do their jobs.

Establish clear expectations – with the team – not for the team.

Stand ready to help but give space for struggle.

#5. Remove the wrong people.

If anyone can fit on your team, you have a lousy team.

You have the wrong people when you spend your day pushing.

The right people pull when they have clear direction.

A small team of dedicated people is better than a large team filled with drifters.


Organization and structure are necessary but frequent reorganization is destructive.

“I was to learn later in life that, perhaps because we are so good at organizing, we tend as a nation to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.” Charlton Ogburn Jr.

What would you add to the 5 ways to build the team?

What does a high-functioning team look like?