Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Building your Team: Start with the End in Mind


Why bother to re-structure your leadership style to build a true team? Because you’ll recruit more and retainA�better. Bottom line: more profits.

To build a team: Start with the end in mind. Today, teamwork will exist only when there is a common vision in the officea��a vision created by leadership.

Is That Vision Strong?

Ask yourself: Do you have stated values and a vision of where you want to be at the end? Is that vision inspiring? Has the team adopted the vision, is the team energized about it, and is the team working together toward it?A� This is one of the things we work on in 365 Leadership, our small-group coaching program with a new leadership strategy every month.A�

Ensure the Team Is in Tune

Are you sure your team is a ‘team’? Or, is it just a group that you work into a frenzy once in awhile? It’s difficult for us to tell, if we’ve never been in a real team. Let me use a musical analogy to try to explain how a team sounds and feels.

A�I play piano in a jazz group. Ia��m the leader. So, before I call a tune, I have to start with a visiona��a clear idea of how I want a particular tune to sound. I have to pick the tune, hear the rhythm in my head, get the feel, review the structure and decide on the parts I want the members to playa��all before I call the tune to my jazz members. Then Ia��d better be sure everyone in that group agrees to the terms and conditions of that vision before we starta��or ita��s going to sound like a mess! Ia��ve actually called tunes and had band members say they couldna��t play the tune in that rhythm. I’ve hired jazz members who wanted to play their own version of the tune–rather than our version! Better to know it before beginning, or else the band doesna��t sound like one banda��it sounds like three players each choosing a different tune.

Building a TeamA�is Easier if you Have a ModelA�

Great and profitable companies (outside of real estate) today have visions that fire up their associates to have a sense of meaning and accomplishment. This creates a teamwork atmosphere. Think Englanda��s The Body Shop, which sells personal care products. Soap doesna��t fire up those employees, their environmental causes do.

Recommended reading: Read the best business book of all time (my opinion): Build to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, by Porras and Collins. There are dozens of stories and quotes about visionary companies.

A�Commit to a Common Focus

So you have enlisted your team members in a common vision. Now, how do you get everyonea��s commitment? By helping team members determine whata��s in it for them. You will hear a sports star say, a�?It didna��t matter if I scored 50 points. We lost the game.a�? If that person were not a team player, it wouldna��t matter if the team won or lost.

Accountability is Key

First, build in accountability. Each team member must have a defined role, with responsibility to perform that role well. We in the real estate industry have really fallen down on that one. We dona��t require much of anything from our team members. Still, we call them a a�?team.a�? What if the Los Angeles Lakers had no defined roles and no accountability for players to master their roles? They wouldna��t have won a championship!

A�What would be examples of accountability?

  • Being accountable for your goals to a a�?peer partner.a�?
  • Being accountable for your goals to your manager.
  • Being accountable for some training for your associates.

Reward Team Play

Second, reward team play. Behavior thata��s rewarded is repeated. What do we reward in real estate? Individual sales achievements. If we want team play, we must devise systems to reward team play.A�What would team play rewards look like? They could be commissionA� or profit sharing for recruiting, peer coaching for retention, etc. A�This is an area that real estate companies must build, otherwise sales associate have no reason to play on the team. Other reward systems might be rewards for a team in a contest, rewards for coaches in a coaching/mentoring system and rewards for participation in sales associate advisory councils.

A�Get The Strategies to Build that Team

Want to get specific strategies, that you can immediately implement, to build your team with confidence, take a look at 365 Leadership. It’s a small-group coaching program ONLY for owners and managers. Each month, you’ll get a new leadership strategy to recruit, coach, train, and motivate your associates. You’ll build new structures to get out of that old ‘top down’ management that agents hate! Take a look at 365 Leadership and see what others think of the first program. Our next program starts in September.

You deserve the kind of coaching and support to take your management career to the next level!

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