Whether it’s a project team or a long tern divisional team, teamwork is a powerful addiction but even in the best teams there’s conflict and disagreement. So what does a great team look like in the business world and how do you build it?

Step 1. A leader. I work with a significant number of individuals who work for weak boss’. Those boss’ don’t have a clue about teamwork. They are individualised in their approach to team building and fragmented in their vision of what they hope to achieve. It’s the equivalent of putting up a circus tent centrepole and having hundreds of ropes holding it up. Bad leaders focus on each rope, not the collective. Divide and conquer does not make for good team spirit and transparency in the human aspects of team performance management is essential, no favourites. Recently, a client approached me with a dilemma about a colleague who was under performing. He was anxious and upset by the fact that his colleague was sabotaging meetings and yet, was given space to fail. What to do? Well this is weak leadership above the station of my client. He needed to manage upward to engage his boss in creating a standard that was clear. This didn’t work because the boss was afraid to lose people if she made her appetite for performance clear. Weak leadership leads to weak teams. Best strategy when this happens, manage up, or out.

Step 2. Inspire the individual. Motivation stinks. Well, it can because it divides team members and makes them compete against each other. Inspiration is where the individual arrives in an independent, self responsible state, being personally driven, knowing team expectations and then delivering. No compromise needed. Inspiring the individual is easier than it sounds. Inspired individuals add more value, get paid more and achieve more in less time than motivated people. Motivation is old school, inspiration is self-reliant, self-leadership. Motivation and T Model Fords are a thing of the past. Empower people, then create inspired individuals.

Step 3. Balance ….. The corporate / Team vision – weak leaders have weak visions. The best visions are those that attract a whole diversity of individuals, they are wordy, but inspire a sense of holistic and balanced leadership.

Step 4. Align … Align individual inspiration to the company vision… How? Well here’s an insight into how we do it at Walker International.

This process chart may look too simple for you to bother with but before you throw it out, try it on yourself.

If you can’t link the benefit of doing a task at work to achieving your vision, then you’ve just found a good reason why you’re not inspired. And if you can’t link what you do to the vision of the team, then you’ll begin to recognise why you don’t fee part of the business or team (disengaged).