5 Tested Phases to Create an Awesome Team

I often ask leaders which of the two delivers better results: great talent or a great team? Most of the time, they respond that a great team has a bigger impact on the results of an organization than individual star performers. However, if you look at most company’s people processes they primarily focus on talent – on how to attract, develop, engage, and retain.

They’re obsessed with getting the best performance out of individual employees. Few companies focus on assessing their leaders ability to create exceptional teams and even if they do, the tools available to assess team performance and develop awesome teams are sparse.

The majority of research and articles on developing teams focus either on what the team has to achieve or healthy team dynamics. I strongly believe that one can’t go without the other and that there are two elements to a high performing teams: the Team Goal and Soul.

Bound together with equal importance, they create a spiral which is sequential and expansive. You can almost consider them as Yin and Yang – they’re opposite forces but cannot exist without the support of one another.

The Goal is the “hard” side of a high performing team. It makes sure that the right skills and expertise are present so that the team can create and achieve it’s aspirational goal. The Soul on the other hand is the “soft” side of this team. It addresses and supports healthy team dynamics.

The spiral itself consists of five stages which take a team from conception to review of its performance. These stages are:

Purple Stage

Goal: Pick the Right Team

Soul: Break the Ice

The very first stage of any high performing team is to bring the right people together and make them comfortable with one another. At this point, the individual team members are not thinking about the goal they have to achieve and how they’re going to achieve it. Instead, they’re only focusing on getting to know one another and making sure that synergy is being created.

Blue Stage

Goal: Co-create an Aspirational Goal

Soul: Take a Personal Deep-Dive

This stage is about defining the task the team has to complete which has a shared meaning and is bigger than each individual member and also about the spark that ignites the fire for this shared meaning of existence. The goal must be aspriational and push them beyond their comfort zone. They have to believe that they can trust each other on a personal level and commit themselves completely and entirely to the success of the team.

Green Stage

Goal: Align the Right Strategy

Soul: Establish Ways of Working

This is the last step of preparation for the team. They all understand where they currently are, where they want to be and agree on who’s going to do what to get there. Together, they establish a strategy that will achieve the aspirational goal along with how they’re going to positively influence all stakeholders. They also need to address how they will handle situations where the team doesn’t work they way they should.

Yellow Stage

Goal: Deliver Results

Soul: Care and Manage Conflict

During this stage the team swings into full action and each team member translates commitments into action. Everyone is held accountable and everything is transparent. Of course, aspirational goals cannot be achieved without some level of conflict. However, a strong team creates strengths from these differences and believes in providing a helping a hand while having fun.

Orange Stage

Goal: Learn and Persevere

Soul: Celebrate and Grow

To grow, any process needs to be reviewed while people learn and grow from their mistakes. During this stage, the team is given the opportunity to shift the strategy as needed. It also caters for team members leaving and new ones joining. It’s all about collective feedback that isn’t personal and is given to help individuals, and thus, the team grow.

Though experience, I’ve learned that teams face more issues on the Soul side as compared to the Goal side. Perhaps it’s because leaders are so driven to achieve their targets, they often forget about the feelings of their people as the strive to reach the top. You can download the visual for the High Performing Team Spiral model here and comment below if you have any questions!


Could Job-Hoppers Be A Good Investment?

Job-Hopping is bad. Those who skip from job to job, should be banned from recruiting circles and shunned by the employment offices. It will wreck your career if you leave before the 2-year mark!

Previous and current generations have internalized, lived and believed it all, keeping them at jobs they dislike. Even Millennials who want new-age benefits like flex-work and volunteering opportunities are staying in their positions longer than workers of previous generations. Whether those choices are due to the struggle to find better opportunities or the fear of disappointing Baby Boomer parents remains uncertain. One thing is clear: job-hopping has always carried a bad stigma.

But how accurate are these statements? Does job-hopping really hurt your career? Should recruiters overlook resumes with several careers where there should be just a couple?

Times Are A’Changing

When it comes to changing jobs, 41% of baby boomers believe employees should stay in their positions for at least 5 years before considering a move, while 21% say that between 4-5 years is sufficient. And younger generations have been raised by these loyal employees to carry the weight of staying at each job they take for long blocks of time.

It is believed that someone with a flighty job history lacks ambition, is easily bored, isn’t loyal or reliable or is just not serious about employment. Alternately, those who have longer stints in a position are seen to be the opposite, which leads to the latter usually receiving the offer. Meanwhile, candidates who frequently move from one job to another catch grief in the interviews they are given a chance to attend.

While these ideas weigh on the minds of the incoming workforce, younger generations are challenging the school of thought. Only 13% of those born between 1982 and 2002 believe waiting for the 5-year mark is necessary. In fact, 25% believe looking for another position before a year is up is okay.

Bored Or Teeming With Aspiration?

More of the upcoming workforce is receiving formal education, leading to the most educated generation in history. Employees want to feel like their expensive education is benefiting their careers. Unfortunately, many employers are not catching on to this or are simply unable to offer more growth opportunities. It used to be that promotion or more responsibility came with time, but this new generation of worker does not want to wait.

Lack of advancement is the number one reason people leave their jobs, and 89% of employees with bachelor’s or graduate degrees find it annoying to not feel empowered by their boss. When a few months go by and no additional assignments are offered, employees fear stagnation and, in return, begin exploring their options. For many, finding new employment is the only hope to be challenged in their position.

Does Ambition Mean More Skills?

Though these workers are being considered more educated by way of formal work, many are not experienced. With many entry-level positions requiring at least a little experience, workers are determined to have examples of previous employment-provided skills that give the upper hand. If it seems no skills will be being obtained in a current position, employees are open to new positions that have those opportunities.

This might seem like a challenge to organizations, but it’s actually a benefit to growing teams. Employees who have moved around within their careers bring fresh points of view to each new employer and excitement in learning new tasks and procedures. Being open to challenges and cross-training, job-hoppers have worked with numerous people and personalities, which could mean they are experienced team players. Job-hopping could also point to a strategic mind, since it’s known among the professional community that employees who stay at the same job for more than 2 years find their learning power significantly reduced.

It’s true that recruiters have little time to make big decisions. In those precious 6 seconds of reading resumes, job history is a huge concern, but instantly throwing that shifty job history to the no pile might be losing the organization that next great new hire. It might be time to rethink the job-hopping applicant.

About the Author: A 20-year veteran of the recruiting industry, CEO Greg Rokos provides strategic direction for GreenJobInterview® and is responsible for marketing its video interviewing software through client meetings, conferences, speaking engagements, key channel partnerships and other activities. Alongside fellow co-founder Theo Rokos, Greg is one of the pioneers of cloud-based video interviewing.

photo credit: Intrepid Explorer Lianne via photopin (license)