Sometimes teams work, and sometimes they fail to work. Often, the people on them can’t give specific reasons for either outcome.
When teams fail, they often dissolve into cliques riddled with blame or confusion. You see it everywhere: Everyone sees fault and assigns blame from their own vantage point.
In the world of business, nearly all work is done in teams. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you most of the teams they’ve been on are average or mediocre, or good but not great. Sadly, many can tell you in detail about the toxic teams they were on where gossip, sabotage and finger-pointing was the norm. They, too, made a lasting impact: a negative one.
However, some have experienced an extraordinary team—what we call a loyalist team—the kind that makes a lasting impact and sets the bar for what greatness looks and feels like.
As my partners and I studied team after team, year after year, we collected the dimensions of each type of team and stored them in a database. Once we’d worked with enough teams to have a meaningful sample size, we analyzed the data and looked for patterns. We parsed the mountains of detail and read the message hidden there. And the message was clear: There are clear actions, behaviors and mindsets that set great teams apart.
If you want to create and maintain a high-performing loyalist team that delivers results, focus on these eight steps:
1. Trust your teammates unconditionally.
On loyalist teams, team members extend trust to one another without demanding that anyone prove their loyalty. They trust each other through the good times and the bad....
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