Building a Winning Team

by Peter Bailey

Building a Global Winning Team

Peter specializes in engaging business leaders and teams in transformational experiences which enhance their skills, systems, and processes for working better together. He is a multi-faceted experiential designer and facilitator who has delivered over 25 years of education-based adventure and innovative training to executives and management teams around the world.
Recently I was interviewed on a webcast for a senior leadership team and their 25 direct reports around the world. What follows came out of the interview:
Defining a Global Winning Team:
A winning team is a team that can create something of value, a team that can bring the best out in each other and a group who can fight gracefully.
The 6 Conditions for Developing a Global Winning Team:

  1. Clarify Expectations:
    • Do this first. One of my favorite sayings is “Undisclosed expectations lead to pre-meditated resentments.” Healthy, winning teams clarify expectations early and often.
  2. Build Global Emotional Intelligence:
    • Emotional intelligence or the lack of it, is truly at the root of most of the issues we see in the workplace. If I am emotionally intelligent it means I am self-aware. I know who I am.
    • It means I can manage my attitudes and behavior and any of my idiosyncrasies so that I don’t sabotage myself, or disturb other people. It also expects me to be empathetic enough that I am in tune with other people and what is going on in their bubbles. And in regards, to me, I can modify myself so that they are made more comfortable from our interaction, rather than less comfortable. And finally, I can summon all of this EQ so that I can better coach, develop another person and lead the team or company.
    • Now, put the “global” label on it, and I need to take my EQ up to what I call an “Ambassadorial Level”…so that I am doing all of the above in such a way, anywhere in the world, that I, am doing my best work, and the team as a whole, is doing their best work. Whether we are in Jakarta, Prague or New York.
  3. Celebrate and elevate each other:
    • This is something we see in the best teams, a group that really enjoys each other…and I mean really likes their team members. They overlook the little stuff, they give each other an “A” as Ben Zander suggests, and they expect, [there is that word again] and bring out the best in each other.
  4. Circulate and harvest the “best” and the “next” practices:
    • Too often we get enamored with our Best Practices, such that they get locked in and our best practices get as stale as our previous practices. The Idea of “Next Practices” allows us to stay fresh, nimble and always generating new and better ways to do things.
  5. Build leadership as an inverted pyramid:
    • While not a new concept, this harkens back to the Servant Leadership model made more famous by Robert Greenleaf, 25 years ago. It helps when a team still repositions the pyramid so that the team lead is what Greenleaf calls “primus inter pares” or “first among equals.” We invert the pyramid, putting the most highly ranked individual at the bottom, and then ask the person in the layer above, “what do you need to do your job well?” and they in turn, ask the people who report to them, “what do YOU need to do your job well?” When we do this, and set our teams up in this way we are all about advocating for the layer below (or above, when inverted.) so that our people get what they need. The best leaders are simply advocates of support for their teams.
  6. Experience life as an Heroic Journey:
    • I have applied the work of Joseph Campbell’s Heroic Journey and have found that I see my life differently because of it. His phases of Preparation, Calls to Adventure, Road of Challenges all become much more manageable. In fact, the paths through the joys and challenges of life are much more discernible on a team level as well. The more I live my life, and the more I support my team to live their lives as an Heroic Journey, the better we are able to function, manage and succeed with our global business objectives…and have more fun doing it!



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