Building An Effective Team

I googled “how to build an effective team” today. I got about 62 million results, and after looking at the top 5, I quit my search. Everyone has ideas on how to build an effective team, and many of them will work, so if you have a lot of time, I encourage you to google and then read like crazy!

In this post, I decided to simply share a couple of things that I’ve found that have made all the difference in teams I’ve been a part of and in teams that I’ve led.

Here are my 3 ideas on how to build an effective team:

#1) Determine if you NEED a team

Sometimes we’re not ready to lead a team. We think that a team will solve all of our problems, however if we’re not ready to build a team, to invest in that team and to maintain that team, it’s often better to NOT have a team. You can work by yourself, you can work at your pace, and you’ve got nobody to manage! Sounds good, right?

However, you’re missing out on the benefits of having a team: collaboration, team momentum, energy, and I could go on and on. There are many benefits, but I want to warn you… if you’re the leader, having a team will require you to put a chunk of your attention there.

Be sure you’re ready for that because it’s not fair to bring people in to join you if you’re not willing and able to actually lead them and the team.

#2) Bring in the RIGHT people

I’ve heard people say over and over again, “I need help!”. Sometimes, in saying that we don’t really care what kind of help it is, we’re just looking for help.

I want to tell you: It’s better to NOT have someone, than to have the WRONG someone.

If you’ve decided to build a team, figure out what kind of people you need and do the work of finding the right people. Go after people, check their references, ask lots of questions, don’t get in a hurry… do your due diligence!

When you’ve found the RIGHT person, a team brings incredible value. If you have a team of the WRONG people, it will destroy your energy, your passion and your vision.

#3) INVEST in that team

It’s not enough to build a team. As a leader, you need to invest into that team, and this means to invest time. Build relationships with them, get to know them, share your stories, do fun things together, cast vision, challenge each other, celebrate each other, help each other, serve each other.

The more you invest in your team, the more effective they’ll become. It’s the best investment you can make and your organization will reap the benefits.

Years ago, I served with a team that was functioning really well. There was clarity around our vision and our focus, there was energy and we really enjoyed working and being with each other. It was a really fun season of life and work. I often think back to this season of life and I have really good memories of not only what we accomplished, but HOW we accomplished it.   The team was effective. I didn’t say perfect, I said effective.

You can lead an effective team, and you can be a part of an effective team.


A great book on finding the right people? Patrick Lencioni’s book, “The Ideal Team Player”.

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