Before we begin our discussion around building a strong team or a perfect team, here's a question for you. What’s common between the number one enemy of teamwork and the one thing that most movies try to teach us with their storyline?
Here’s something funny I came across while reading a few articles, which were conducting their own separate debate over the necessity/superfluity of being perfect before you build a strong team-
“There’s no such thing called a perfect team.”, said no manager ever. “Strive for perfection because that’s what your competitors are going after!”
Perfection is a state of mind
Wells Fargo 2015 Survey suggested that businesses with less than $5 million annual revenue experienced an annual sales growth of 7.8% on an average. It also talks about the 10 challenges that small businesses face. Productivity was one of them and perfection, as you might have guessed, wasn’t.
You must be wondering why perfectionism is an enemy of the corporate culture then I’d like to make it simple for you.
As an employee, you have to focus on your work to keep improving and contributing towards growth. If you are a leader, you must understand and accept that perfection is not bespoke. It has to be built starting from an individual level to make it grow beyond an organisational level. In fact, perfection is a mobile target. It has to keep going further otherwise why would you be there to motivate and manage your team members? If perfection was the key, why would your team want to work anymore if they are declared to be too perfect for their job?
The performance vs perfection dilemma
Therefore, when you work for an organisation, you can focus on either of the 2 things- perfection or performance. That’s why it is said that you must hire a candidate with a great attitude rather than great qualification. Someone who seems smart in person and not just on a resume. Don’t let them chase perfection because it will only come in the middle of growth and improvement. You must be building a strong team.
A performance driven approach generates revenue for your company. A perfection driven approach generates, well, movie scripts.
See how you can focus on employee productivity and performance. Let’s look at the approach that has helped FAMGA and many other successful businesses.
Build a strong a team
In order to establish a high performing business you have to ensure that you work towards building a strong team. There are two deliverables to be certain of-
- When you have a vacancy don’t hire fast but hire smart.
- Begin with the basics rather than jumping to a high-end process.
In fact, isn’t it how China is planning its take on US in technology? They are fighting for AI supremacy by starting with the youngest. Elementary and middle school students are encouraged to confidently mine their computers made available by a gaming giant, NetEase. They are building a strong foundation for those kids who are interested to learn right from the very beginning.
Device leadership focus areas
A strong leadership builds a strong team by encouraging the team members to collaborate and focus on collective results rather than individual benefits. A strong leadership will make sure that your employees-
- Bring meaningful work on the table
- Learn to perform as a team
- Focus on company vision & goals
- Develop a healthy competition
- Build a focused, professional relationship
- Solve problems together
- Work with a progressive attitude
- Adhere to company values
So, don’t hire fast but hire smart. Begin by hiring a strong leadership that will eventually build a strong team. You have to ensure that you get the first step right.
Measure collective results
A team, which learns how to perform together and accommodate the new members by sharing process knowledge and best practices, shows the best collective results in an organisation. No doubt, certain employees are great individual contributors however, you can’t run an entire organisation by an individual employee’s efforts. A company truly grows when it performs as a single strong team and measures collective results.
In companies like Apple, each product or an idea is lead by a single individual. That person is single-handedly is responsible and answerable for the final output. However, does the team lead work on a project all alone? Do they commence the idea on their own to execute and deliver the final product without taking inputs from the entire team? The answer to both the questions is no. And this is what empowers companies like Apple, which is No. 1 in Global Brands Ranking 2018, and other organisations to succeed and achieve big.
Pick the best team player
Being a valuable team player has 2 benefits. You-
- Focus on what’s important at work and help the company grow. The team looks up to you because you are their go-to person at the time of need.
- Grow as a professional as well as a person. Hurdles don’t bother you and therefore, you transform to become a pioneer rather than an escapist.
In fact, don’t we all secretly wish to become the team player or the A-player of our company? There is a simple art in turning this wish into an everlasting reality.
- Be a critique and not critical
- Leave no room for ego
- Encourage an open, safe & encouraging environment
- Make progress before going for perfection
Lastly, invest in growth because perfection can be overrated
I really liked this article by Forbes where it talks about the renowned 80% rule.
Every time you share your project or a piece of work that you have created, with someone in the team, tell them that it’s just 80% of the entire work and it’s the best that you could do. Doing this gives them an open space to bring in their thoughts and contribute with more creativity and insights. Also, this way you leave no room for ego or perfectionism because you are telling the other person that they can actually make your work look better.
That’s simply how you grow as an individual and as a team.
Focusing too much on perfection will impede improvement. In fact, in this fast-paced world it is not always possible to deliver everything that is perfect. There is enough to deliver under restricted timelines. Here’s beautiful quote in an article by Entrepreneur
Moving at today's supersonic pace, you have to weigh the opportunity cost of letting perfectionism slow you down. If you won't send something until it is perfect, you’re not pulling the trigger quickly enough.
Further, teamwork and collaboration are easy to introduce in a team but difficult to manage. In fact, it’s not wrong to aim for a strong team that is also perfect but before that, it’s important that you invest in people and performance management.