9 Telltale Signs You Have Built A Great Team

9 Telltale Signs You Have Built A Great Team

As leaders we spend a significant amount of time and energy focusing on what we can do better; what we can adapt and evolve to be more effective; what do we have to do next to upskill our team members. We rarely stop and reflect on where we started and how far we’ve come because we are always looking to the future and what we need to do next; to have, and/or to be to be ready for the newest incarnation of business. However, it behooves us to take a moment and assess the team environment we’ve created. Great teams don’t just happen. To build a cohesive, collaborative, and unstoppable team requires a tremendous effort on the part of the leader and of the participants and we have to take a moment to appreciate that from time to time. You’ve earned it!

Inviting the right people with the right strengths onto the team is a good starting point, but it is far from enough. For a team to create sustained growth, the individuals must share a common vision and set of values that drives their personal passions and aspirations and this starts with the leader allowing the latitude and support for everyone to find their place. Here are some signs that you have built a fabulous team:

  • Your Team Members Speak As “We”: A high-performing team requires that the individual team members are willing to set aside “me” in service of “we.” When you have high-productivity team players that share in a commitment to a common vision, where each individual believes the contribution, success, and satisfaction of every team member matters, you have a great team environment.
  • Conflict Doesn’t Destroy Your Team Because They Are Results Focused: Contrary to popular belief, the most successful teams are not the ones in which team members always agree with one another. Instead, they are often characterized by healthy debate, radical candor,  and at times, heated dialogs where people feel safe sharing their ideas and perspectives. What distinguishes strong teams from dysfunctional ones is that debate doesn’t cause them to crumble. Instead of becoming more isolated during tough times, these teams actually gain strength and develop cohesion to determine the right course of action for the best performance and outcome.

  • The Team Prioritizes What Is Best For The Organization: While competition for resources and diverse points of view exist, the strongest teams are able to keep the larger objective(s) in view. Members of high-performing teams are consistently able to put what’s best for the organization ahead of their own egos and agendas. And once a decision is made, these teams are remarkably enthusiastic to rally around it.
  • Your Team Is A Talent Magnet: Winners want to be on winning team. For some people, it may be hard to understand why anyone would want to join a team that works harder and that comes complete with intensely high expectations of both the leader and the team members. This is especially true when these “it” teams are characterized by fierce competition and extreme accountability for results. Despite all the pressures, it is potential stars who most want to be on these teams. They see top teams as the most exhilarating and visible place to be; the place where they can demonstrate their leadership and have a real impact. Instead of being intimidated by the challenge and responsibility, great talent wants to find a place there.

  • Your Team Pushes Boundaries: Great individuals and great teams understand “what got you here won’t get you there”. Leadership and building strong and productive teams is about redefining things, finding new solutions and delivering bigger and better results. Exceptional teams aren’t sedentary in thoughts or actions. There is a lot of energy and they carry out their activities through their own signature relationship practices. Teamwork is about progress and inspiring evolution, and none of this can be done by following status quo – exceptional team know this.
  • There Is A High-Level Of Personal Accountability: High-performance individuals on high-performing teams know that they are accountable for the work they deliver to the team goals. Personal accountability creates opportunities instead of obstacles. It supports solutions instead of excuses. It supports deliberate growth and strategic planning instead of the use of “hope” to deliver “good enough” results. It takes an elevated level of strategic though, planning, and coordination. This type of team cohesion requires the ability to be profoundly objective and honest with yourself – and the others.

  • They’ve Created An Environment Built On Trust: Great teams recognize that trust is gigantic factor for bottom line profitability and productivity. When there is a high-level of trust between team members it the possibility to achieve real success is increased. The myths are that trust is built solely on integrity, that you either have it or you don’t, that if lost it can’t be restored, and that it can’t be taught. The realities are that trust is a function of both character and competency, it can be both created and destroyed, it can be restored, and be taught and developed into a measurable strategic advantage and high-performance teams model this day after day; through good times and bad.
  • Committed To Assessing Goals & Constantly Raising The Bar: Strong teams are aware that they can’t win without setting soaring goals and defining the path to success. For these teams, it is critical to set both attainable goals and lofty, seemingly unattainable goals in order to drive a business forward. The team acknowledges and celebrates both individual and team successes and determines quickly what is next in their rise to excellence. These amazing teams refuse to allow complacency and are consistently reinventing their approach to achieve the best results.

  • They Have Fun: The most motivated teams are also the happiest. Intrinsic motivation is essential for high-performing teams and individuals. They build time in to their day to connect with each other and have some laughs. The BrightHR It Pays to Play study, reveals some 79% of school leavers and graduates believe fun at work is important, with 44% of this group believing it supports an elevated work ethic.  Fun also impacts positively on how many days respondents took off work due to sickness or injury, with 62% of employees who had had no sick days in the last three months having had fun at work. Furthermore, 58% of those who had not experienced workplace fun had been off sick for 11 or more days, compared to 42% of those who had. In other words, great individuals that contribute to great team dynamics know that they need to be present to participate in a great way to the team -and having fun supports their desire to “show up” and deliver for their peers.


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail. Published writer. Frequent Podcast Guest. Speaker. Twenty year [oy vey!] retailer. I am passionate about leadership development and workplace culture. 646 246 1380 | beth@excellencein-retail.com [No Sales Contact, please} But it you want to call just to say hello or have a question - that's awesome!

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