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1. Team goals are clear to everyone
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Whether it’s the junior advisor, the college intern, or the part-time assistant hired from an employment agency, everyone knows the goals that the team is working toward. In our coaching, whenever possible, we help transform team goals into a team mantra. For instance, if a team sets a goal of acquiring $50 million of new assets, the mantra would be “Project $50 Million.” That creates the critical path upon which every team member operates, and everyone knows about Project $50 Million.
2. Every team member knows their role
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This goes beyond role clarity and into the realm of emotional equity. Granted, role clarity for each team member is a key component to a high-performing team. However, when you have a team member performing their role without an understanding of how it’s linked to the team’s goals, you’ve got someone who’s just doing their job. That’s not a bad thing, but without ownership in the team’s goals, these people rarely go above and beyond what they perceive as their job.
3. Recognize and/or celebrate every small win
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This requires an understanding of everything that contributes to the ultimate objective: the team’s goals. Keeping with Project $50 Million, an understanding of relationship management and relationship marketing is essential. When the team member performs activities that strengthen existing client relationships and stimulate word-of-mouth-influence, identify their actions and highlight how they’re helping the team inch closer to reaching the overall goal. For example, when a team member sources the name of a top client’s colleague which will eventually lead to a personal introduction, recognize this act as a mini-win.
4. Provide a clear team goal bonus structure
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If not handled properly, this can get a bit dicey. You want everyone to know that there’s a bonus pool for reaching Project $50 Million. Here, the team leader and/or practice manager will determine the individual shares based on role and performance, as well as handle the distribution. Granted, some people will talk about the amount they received, but that’s on them. The key is linking the bonus pool directly to performance; team achieving Project $50 Million and individual contributions.
5. Inspecting what is expected
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This is one of our mantras at the Oechsli Institute. If you want something done, follow-up and make certain that it gets done. Team leaders and practice managers of elite teams make certain that their direct reports are not only doing their job on a daily basis, but committed to contributing to Project $50 Million (the team’s goal). In essence, great teams only want “A” players and this is a theme woven through every team meeting — inspecting what is expected of every team member.