It takes a lot of people to make a winning team. Everybody’s contribution is important.—Gary David Goldgerb
Whether you lead a team, or are a team member, what’s your vision for a successful team? Are you looking for any particular skill-set, behaviors, or traits?
Most of us would agree that the team needs a common purpose with a desire to achieve shared goals. We’ve learned from Patrick Lencioni that having trust in one another is the foundation for team success, and that team members must hold themselves and team member accountable.
What else do you look for in team members?
Allen Fahden and Srinvasan Namakkal conducted team studies for decades and determined that there are four critical team roles required for success. They are:
CREATOR: Generates the concepts and ideas. Looks for solutions that may be unusual or unique; goes beyond the obvious. Creators generate fresh, creative and original ideas, recognizes alternatives and sees the “big picture”. Once the idea is generated it gets passed to an Advancer.
ADVANCER: Recognizes ideas and new directions early on and develops ways to promote them. Advancers plan based on past experiences and successful methods, prefer familiar ideas and but are open to new concepts and will not be discouraged by rules and boundaries. Once there is structure toward implementation the idea is passed to a Refiner.
REFINER: Concepts are challenged and a methodical process is used to analyze, apply order, and look for flaws or possible problems with the concept or idea. Refiners are good at reviewing ideas and implementation plans, at modifying and coming up with new ideas, and rationally reviewing them to ensure success. The final pass of is to the Executor. If the concept or idea is not ready for implementation, the Advancer and Creator may get re-engaged, execute their role and then re-pass it to the Refiner.
EXECUTOR: Team objectives are followed up on and ideas and solutions are implemented. The Executor focuses on ensuring the implementation plan is orderly and has been well thought out and strives for high quality results. They enjoy their tasks and the responsibility of final implementation but prefer that others take the lead.
One other role is critical to the success of a team; the FLEXER. The Flexer objectively monitors the contributions of the team members, keeps them moving in the right direction, and steps in as needed.
The combination of these roles promotes innovation and teamwork and provides teams with a competitive edge.
These may be “team wants” you’ve not thought of, but we suggest you do!
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. –Babe Ruth