What makes a great team? June 28, 2018

team collaborating during one of our team building sessions

With my business beyondtheboardroom.com.au we run team building events all over Australia, NZ and Japan.  At the start of our events we generally ask the group “What makes a great team?”.

We normally get the participants calling out collaboration, communication, teamwork, utilising each other’s strengths, trust, commitment, accountability, common goals, being a good listener, honesty, clear direction and fun.  There are so many characteristics and qualities that make a team great.  They are all important and need to be lived out to help make a team great and it will not happen by accident.

At a lot of our team building sessions we are hearing “the leader” being called out to the question “what makes a team great?".  I believe that a great team will trust each other, be vulnerable and engage in healthy debate, be committed, be held accountable and work toward a common goal.  But when people say that a great leader makes a great team I am not sure that I totally agree.  I think this needs clarification.

In my experience a great leader inspires, motivates and leads the team and is consistent and reliable.  I believe that a great leader needs to create a great culture, and in turn a great culture inspires, motivates a team that then produces amazing results.

When it comes to the leader however there are some key points.  I believe that all members of the team should be a leader in their organisation from the cleaner to the assembly line worker to the truck driver to the operations manager right through to the CEO.  A successful organisation will have a team of leaders.  Not just one leader.

The person in the most senior role apart from being the CEO/MD and most senior leader, are also a part of the team.  Yes they are responsible for creating a great culture, promoting teamwork and leadership at all levels.  Yes they need to be giving the team the tools to achieve greatness and provide the platform for the team to be great. However - it is up to the team to execute specific characteristics that will make them great.  The most senior leader should lead the way in living out these characteristics but if the rest of the team are not on board then there is no way the “leader” can make a team great.

In my experience if you believe it is up the the leader to make a team great, you are mistaken. I believe it is up to the team to make the team great.  The characteristics and values that the team live out on a day to day basis are what will make them great. The leader does need to provide the tools and the systems to help and guide the team, but it cannot be achieved by the leader alone.  

I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave them in the comments section below.

Kind regards 

Luke Talbot-Male

If you and your team are in need of an activity to help them gain more insight into becoming a better team and to bond through an experience then please check out our website www.beyondtheboardroom.com.au for more information.  Alternatively for some inspiring conversations and interviews please check out our podcast www.theteambuildingshow.com 

Luke is a a workshop facilitator and keynote speaker.  To connect with him please visit www.luketalbotmale.com