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Mastering Synergy Towards a Purpose

Coordinating the work of several people with their own unique skills, opinions and mind-sets is a challenge. To ease the task and deliver extraordinary results, create processes that build consensus.

Good teams start with effective leaders, managers who earn the trust of their employees so that they work well even when the boss isn’t around. As author and Navy SEAL Alden Mills writes in his book Unstoppable Teams, when the US military’s Special Operations Command needs a job done, especially if they’re facing significant unknowns, they don’t send in a lone wolf like in the Rambo movies, they send in a highly trained team like the Navy SEALs. Teams may have diverse members, but they share the same mission. Fundamental to a high-functioning team is an understanding of how they fit in with the overall organization.

You can assemble as many individual superstars as you’d like, but they won’t become unstoppable unless they believe in each other and in their collective mission.

Alden Mills

The Basics

The most agile teams are between five and 10 individuals with complementary skills and areas of expertise working in clearly defined roles. To maintain team coherence and effectiveness, leaders must stay focused on their goals and demonstrate credibility and consistency. Foster open, direct communication. Recognize your team members for their accomplishments and reward them when they meet their goals. To encourage them to keep performing at peak levels, provide continuous learning opportunities.

Image of: Unstoppable Teams
Book Summary

Unstoppable Teams

US Navy SEAL Alden Mills shows how to develop the best small-unit teams, whatever your mission demands.

Alden Mills HarperBusiness
Read Summary
Image of: Leading Teams

Leading Teams

The way you lead your team makes all the difference in whether your team members work well together, feel motivated, and meet their…

Open Channel

Remote and Hybrid Teams

Open, fluid conversation is the lifeblood of team coordination and cooperation. About 55% of communication cues are lost when you’re not speaking to someone face to face, which makes coordinating a remote or hybrid team more challenging. Team processes that are clear, allow for continuous improvement through feedback and move the team forward toward completing goals are crucial. When communication is honest and respectful, based on trust, team members are on the same page when it comes to the game plan, and there are processes and space for differing viewpoints, the team will function creatively to meet challenges.

Killer Meetings

Meetings can be energizing or draining, whether in-person or remote. Keep them focused with these tips:

  • Make sure you have a clear agenda set for meetings.
  • Relate the assignments you hand out to larger team targets as well.
  • If you’re just getting updates, keep meetings brief. Planning or problem-solving meetings will be longer.
  • Do what you can to elicit feedback from all team members.
  • Trust, camaraderie and confidence will build your team members up.

Encourage team members to be unafraid to throw out even half-baked solutions and refrain from judgment while your team is brainstorming. Meetings are a fact of business life but don’t forget the power of meeting-free time to boost team productivity.

Image of: Holding Meetings

Holding Meetings

Meetings can be productive or deadly, in person or virtual – success depends on planning, execution and managing people and information.

Open Channel

Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanagers are overly critical and expect constant updates about assignments. Often they are frustrated by the way an employee is doing a task and decide to just do it themselves. This is a destructive habit that erodes the confidence and trust of your team; avoid it.

  • If you’re a manager, your job is to oversee employees and workflow, not do the work yourself.
  • If you’re not happy with someone’s work, mentor them.
  • If you must be critical, be diplomatic and constructive.
  • Failures happen.

When they do, help your employees get up and try again. Here is how:

For more insight into shaping high-performance teams, look into these titles:

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Image of: Remote Teams

Remote Teams

The home office trend became the home office mandate with the outbreak of COVID-19, leaving managers with a challenge. Getting team members to…

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Image of: Teamwork


Charles Darwin noted that throughout history “those who have learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” To help your team evolve…

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9 We read and summarized 9 books with 2196 pages for this article.
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