5 Guiding Principles That Build Powerful Business Teams

Andrew Carnegie once said "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it." Today, this...

Photo: Ken Gosnell, CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience); Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Ken Gosnell, CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience); Source: Courtesy Photo

Entrepreneurs and CEOs are self-starters who often see themselves as rugged individualists. However, every business owner or business leader understands the value of a great team.

It is only when the team grows that an organization grows. When the team gets better, the company gets better. Therefore, it is essential for every leader to learn how to build a great team.

Andrew Carnegie once quipped “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” In today’s economy, this idea still endures. Great businesses are built by exceptional teams.


1. Attraction

One of the most overlooked ways to build a strong team is to attract exceptional people to your organization. John Wooden would often say, “The team with the most talent usually wins.” When an organization is clear about their values and purpose, they can attract the best people who align and fit within their culture.

Talent magnet Richard Branson has stated, “Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play.” Every founder and CEO should be able to answer the question, “Why would the best talent want to work for us?”


2. Alignment

Effective teams know how to utilize the strengths of all of their teammates. Leaders who build super teams discover and multiply each person’s abilities. When groups align according to strengths and skills, they are positioned for success.

Great teams call out the best in others because they have confidence in the abilities of other team members. It is imperative that everyone is familiar with the strengths of others on their team.


3. Affirmation

Superhuman teams are built through inspiration and encouragement. One critical mistake many leaders often make is not encouraging and affirming their team. Dale Carnegie once urged leaders “Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That inspires the other person to keep on improving.” Great teams become great because they are constantly reminded they are great. The best teams inspire each other to a higher level of performance.


4. Accountability

Akin to affirmation, “super teams” need accountability. Author Christine Comaford states in her book Smart Tribes that accountability is essential to the success of any team. She goes on to suggest, “Accountability starts at the top, and this is where many companies struggle. When the leader takes responsibility for unspoken expectations, team members will fall right into line to mirror their boss. The flip side is true too–in low-accountability cultures, we see that the trouble begins at the top. The team is simply modeling the low accountability that the executive team is displaying.”


5. Celebration

Remarkable teams celebrate together. They rejoice over accomplishments and highlight team and individual achievements. No breakthrough is too small to celebrate for effective teams. Teams celebrations lead to inspiration which results in motivation. When a win is celebrated, it is more likely to be repeated. Team celebrations lead to inspiration which results in motivation.


Building great teams

One iconic CEO would often remind his team, “Individuals don’t win, teams do.” This statement was the motto that Sam Walton would highlight to remind his team of the importance of working together. Sam Walton, Andrew Carnegie, Richard Branson, and every other successful leader understands the fundamental principles that great leaders focus on to build great teams.


Ken Gosnell is the CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience). He serves leaders by helping them to have great experiences that both transform them and their organizations that enable to go further faster. He has worked with hundreds of CEOs and leadership teams to enhance strategic, operational and people accomplishments. He is an author, coach, and strategic partner with CEOs. Ken is the creator and facilitator of the Christian CEO Linkedin Group and creator of the CEO Experience Impact Assessment. He is married to Shonda, and they have four children. Connect with @ken_gosnell on Twitter.


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