Great teamwork. What makes a good team great?

What makes a great team?

Great teamwork, resilience and hard work are some of the components needed to make a good team “Great”.

For those of you who follow F1 Motor Racing yesterday’s Brazilian GP was nothing short of tantalising.

If anyone says Formula 1 is boring then clearly they haven’t sat through a race like yesterday’s.

The last four races of the season have been nail biting and after the furore died down yesterday evening I reflected on the season.

For me it ranks up there with the 2008 season which went down to the last turn and Lewis Hamilton became the then youngest ever Formula 1 champion .

Trying to cast your mind over the last 3-4 years is difficult when you try to recall the outcomes of each successive season.

And so it is for businesses to.

Comparing last year’s financial statement with this year’s gives you an overview of where the business was and where it has arrived at today, facts are all that we have to compare one year’s performance to the next.

But does that really present the whole picture?

After yesterday’s GP I couldnt help but notice just how tuned in the guys and girls are at Red Bull. They are completely focussed on the tasks in hand and at the end of a gripping season Red Bull finished 1st in the constructors championship and Seb Vettel won his 3rd consecutive world championship not bad for a kid that’s 25 years old.

His success came as a result of a great team of people focussed on the task in hand – collaborating, sharing ideas, challenging old ones, re-inventing new ones you couldn’t help but feel the “love” ♥emanating from the Red Bull garage when it was all over the adrenalin slowly ebbed away followed by euphoria.

It was high octane emotion and relief as the stress of the season came to an end and you couldn’t help but feel touched by the whole moment.

And so it got me thinking what makes a team of people special, great almost.

What makes a great team?

Like you, I’ve managed teams and been managed by managers with weird personalities. Some I’ve loathed and others I’ve admired.

In fact, I can recall only one great Manager I had the privilege to work with and for and that was 20+ years ago when I began my life in transaction print and mailing services. His knowledge, expertise and the way he engaged with me and the team taught me everything I know today.

I would go so far as to say that many of the qualities I admired in his management skills I’ve honed and still use today.

The one essential ingredient that makes a great team is to have a great leader someone who understands the individuals that make up the team, inspires, provides meaningful support and engages with it’s members when it comes to problem solving, instils confidence and a “can-do win” attitude and Christian Horner, team principle at RBR is not short of any of that!

What components are needed to make a great team?

  1. There must be a desire to win. In sports we liken this to winning a gold medal or becoming a world champion. In business this can mean a company achieving great sales, winning a key account or the finance team looking to improve getting results out on time. Winning in this context is no different from winning in the sporting arena.
  2. A team wants to be the best, every individual wants to work to their maximum and go beyond their own expectations and potential and be highly regarded by the rest of the team for the work they do.
  3. A great team will respect their Manager or Leader as well as well as each other.
  4. Working for and with each other is key to a team succeeding. Supporting and helping each other when some team members are inundated with work and those who might be struggling with a specific task.
  5. Honesty is integral to any good team. How many times have we been in teams where individuals fail to be honest perhaps they’ve struggled with the completion of a task or did not take responsibility for seeing something through; or were unable to follow through on a deadline only to blame someone else or a situation for their failure. Frustrating! Setting realistic goals and deadlines and working the team to agree such goals reduces the likelihood of this happening. It also means accepting that we can’t be brilliant at everything and that sometimes things do happen beyond the scope of our control and we need help from others.

    What qualities are needed to make a great team work?

  6. Great teams will think “outside the box” and challenge why things are done in a particular way for example a process if it’s not working. They are not afraid of trying new ideas and testing them.
  7. Remaining calm under pressure when big problems come along teams will look to their leader for direction but they will also look to the team to work out what the best course of action should be. This was evident at yesterday’s GP when Vettel sustained serious damage to his car on the 1st lap rendering him in last place. Red Bull analysed the situation, agreed a course of action and probably crossed their fingers too. But it was all team work!
  8. A team needs to take responsibility for its actions that includes the Manager and the individuals comprised of that team. Mistakes are made we are only human after all and we know when we’ve made a mistake often before the boss does. A good Manager will also take responsibility for any errors he makes after all we learn from our mistakes don’t we? But it is equally important that individuals admit when something hasn’t worked out or they’ve made an error. Sadly in my experience this tends to be a problem. I can never understand why people dig their heels and refuse to accept responsibility when a simple explanation and “I’m really sorry I think/I’ve made a mistake” does the trick.
  9. A team willing to take educated and calculated risks makes for a great team. Provided the information is available to make a well informed decision.
  10. My favourite ADAPTABILITY being able to adapt to the ever changing needs of your business or environment is key to a successful team and company. And making sure the individuals that make up the team can respond to change and not be afraid too by being encouraged.

And that is why I believe Red Bull Racing are a great team and make a great model to follow for any success whether its business or Sport!

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Great teamwork. What makes a good team great?”

  1. Great article! 10 points that truly can build a championship in business or sport. Being a motorsport fan the comparison is dead center. Find some time to watch some of the Moto GP it is just as intense and team driven.

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