Is Your Team Working Together?

What Makes a Winning Team

Often leaders will ask how to get their team going in the same direction.  Individually, members are doing a great job but it’s not enough.  The group is busy but not really productive.  Critical interdependencies are absent.  Results suffer.  A team can move from low performing to high performing by aligning four important areas in the following sequence:

  1. Goals
  2. Roles
  3. Procedures
  4. Interpersonal Relationships.



This is the first area of focus.  It is the starting point. Some of the success indicators are:

  • There is a clearly defined vision
  • Team has input into development
  • There is commitment to the vision
  • Everyone understands, agrees and sets goals
  • Goals are accomplished within realistic timelines


Once all facets of goals are met, it is time to align roles.  The following actions should happen:

  • Roles are clearly defined, understood and supported
  • Members and leader know the priorities
  • There is strong effective leadership
  • Members and the leader are accessible
  • There is emphasis on solving problems versus blaming


After roles are established and implemented, procedures must be identified.  This means communicating effectively and often:

  • Members participate in discussion
  • Everyone listens
  • There is frequent feedback and members are kept informed
  • Deadlines and milestones are clearly established
  • Written and verbal communication is open and honest

Interpersonal Relationships

If Goals, Roles and Procedures are aligned, Interpersonal Relationships should naturally fall into place.  This is what it should look like:

  • There is a tolerance for conflict with an emphasis upon resolution
  • Conflict is openly discussed
  • Members enjoy each other
  • Members support each other

What you Can Do

Review these four areas for team alignment.  Have a discussion about what is working and not working.  Remind the  group that the best team addresses these areas in sequence. For example, if there is conflict on the team, it could be misalignment of one of the areas and not members simply not getting along with each other.  To learn more about teams, read Leading At the Edge, or bring your team to an insightful and customized seminar, Senior Teams