Book News: January 8th, 2015

Mark Gallagher explains how to build teams in a high-pressure, high-stakes environment.

Everyone has his or her own personal traits, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses. By investing in our staff and providing equitable support to all we can build a cohesive, motivated team.

Motivation is a cocktail, not a straight shot. Money is only one aspect, and often subsumed by other factors. At Jordan Grand Prix people were motivated to prove themselves at the pinnacle of the sport, excited by the opportunity to travel and compete against the best in the word, interested to enjoy new experiences and keen to stretch themselves.

If the key lieutenants in the business have to manage the relevant disciplines effectively, they must be fully empowered to do so, supported by the senior team and given the resources necessary to do the job. ‘I did not know what was going on,’ is the one sentence you never hear in a high-performing team. Everyone knows what he or she is responsible for, and who is accountable for each aspect of the activity.

We cannot know all of our staff all of the time, but all of our staff should know us and what our priorities are for the business and all its stakeholders. And they should be inspired by strong, accountable leaders

This requires a positive culture, not one buried in fear of recrimination. Empowering competent staff creates an upward spiral. We need to trust one another and have faith in our colleagues. In a 2-second Formula One pit stop all team members are completely focused on their specific task. They have no time to check to see whether their colleagues have done their jobs; they must have complete faith in themselves and their co-workers.
Building a winning team is not about employing nice people, but the right people.

You want to have people who are the very best at what they do, whose skills complement other people’s skills, and who can all deliver in their respective areas. Even if there is some short-term pain, work hard to get the most talented people working together.

The reason why the world’s top teams are so good at what they do is that they have worked extremely hard, over a long period of time, to build, sustain and continually develop a group of highly motivated employees who buy into the leadership’s vision for the business.

Published by Kogan Page. EAN: 97807494. £14.99