Building a Winning Team

Building a Winning Team

By: Joshua Combest, Senior Consultant

If you’re a football fan, like me, it’s an exciting time of year. Seasoned veterans are on the open market, young college talent is working hard to impress coaches for the upcoming draft, GM’s and coaches are putting in massive amounts of time to analyze and critique who they have, who they need, and what the competition will be doing. NFL teams alone spend over $75million a year just in the scouting process!

Every sport goes through this season in its own way. Baseball, basketball, hockey, football, soccer, and the list goes on and on. Teams spend the entire off-season preparing for the next season, and the most critical element to the success of next season – team building.

We even have the chance to take part in the madness by joining a ‘fantasy’ sports group. If you’re like the other 60+million Americans who will play fantasy sports this year, you know how crucial draft night is to the season you’ll have. You may even have a few of your own dollars thrown in to the rest of the $26+billion that will be spent betting on your team or players. All of this, for the thrill of having a winning team and all that goes with it.

Now, consider the team that you work on. That team was also analyzed, interviewed and assembled for a purpose. Successful teams don’t happen by accident! It takes a lot of work and a little trial and error to find a winning solution. Managers are also under greater stress now than ever as the younger generations enter the work force with less focus on loyalty and tenure and more focus on immediate development and a ‘what’s next’ career approach. This doesn’t have to be bad, but does have to be taken into consideration when ‘drafting’ your team.

How much time is spent really understanding who you currently have and who you’ll need to complete the team? Tom Brady is an incredible quarterback, but the New England Patriots would be remiss to try to draft 10 more Tom Brady’s to complete the offensive unit. There are a multitude of tasks that each team is responsible for and numerous skills, abilities and behaviors needed that correlate with those tasks.

Too many managers try to just replicate their star players in order to build a winning team without taking into consideration the complementing attributes needed to finalize a successful lineup. What steps do you take to ensure your ‘draft picks’ are best suited to complete the team you have and to have the best chance at success?

One key area often missed in the analysis period is needed behaviors.

We hire because of an incredible resume, proof of skills and even great references, but we often see failure in a role due to misaligned behaviors. What do I mean? I needed a high producing team player, and instead I got an aggressive individualist that can’t seem to get along with anyone! This is a behavioral issue. Seem familiar? I need someone who will follow the outlined process and ensure completion of each systematic step, and instead I got someone who continues to find shortcuts and ‘new’ ways of accomplishing the tasks outlined. Again, this is a behavioral issue.

When building your team, and working to align your team, understanding each of your ‘players’ natural drives and behaviors is critical. One assessment that can be used very simply is The Predictive Index®. The Predictive Index® (PI®) is a tool that measures the amount of behavioral drives one has in the following four areas: Dominance, Extraversion, Patience and Formality.

PI can tell you how someone may react to change, how someone may tend to communicate, or whether or not they will want to follow direction or create their own direction. PI can tell you if someone will want to lead the team to victory or would prefer to be a member of a team without being the captain. So much can be determined from this one assessment, that the additional clarity it gives you will prove invaluable almost immediately. Not only does it tell me, the manager, how my team members will tend to behave, but it is also a powerful self-awareness tool so that my team members can better understand their own behaviors and what kind of adaptions might be necessary for individual and team success.

Take this one step further. When I understand, for example, who on my team is most likely to connect with clients the fastest and which ones prefer to work ‘heads down’ finding creative solutions, I can also better align roles to ensure engagement and progress.

Professional sports teams spend millions of dollars analyzing each player they draft. Professional organizations may spend much less, but should not allow the importance of this process to be lost. If you don’t have a formal ‘full picture’ analyzing process in place, let me know how I can help. This is critical to the individual success of your team members as well as to the success of the team as a whole.

You can email me directly at josh.combest@mcgpartners.net. Thanks for reading!

To learn more about how tools like the Predictive Index can help with building teams, identifying key behaviors, selection, employee engagement and much more, visit www.mcgpartners.net.

About MCG Partners.

We are a woman-owned consulting firm specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, organizational effectiveness and career management solutions. We help businesses optimize success through the entire talent management life-cycle.


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