6 Steps To a More Effective Team

6 Steps To a More Effective Team

What does it mean to be a part of a team? What is the first thought that pops into your head? Now remember that and keep reading to see if your ideas, helps or hurts you. My experience in the SEAL teams helped me determine that there are 6 steps to a more effective team.

Teams are very complex creatures and you have to realize that they are living and breathing just like you. Just as we have physical, mental and emotional limitations, so does your team. However, aside from all these things they can be developed into powerhouses. As a manager, you have to be able to balance all of these things and get the job done.

Now you are probably thinking where do I begin?

1. Mindset

The first and most crucial step. Before you can accept your responsibility to lead your team, you have to get your mind right first. When I was given a leadership position in my platoon, I took what I learned from my past leaders. Most of my direct leaders were tyrannical in nature. They yelled a lot put you down for making mistakes, but every once and a while gave a slice of good advice.

I pulled from these experiences and immediately put it into action. Realizing very quickly that my mindset around leadership was all off. I started to see my team pull away from me and become more challenging to manage. If you can imagine this was not ideal, especially for what we as team guys do.

I had to shift my mindset immediately. What I realized that I am not a dictator, I am not a micromanager, I am a team member just like the rest of my team. Remember just because you are leading does not mean you talk down to anyone.

2. The Middle

Now that you are in the right mind. We can begin the next phase.

Have you ever heard the term, “lead from the front?” I believe in this statement completely. But only in the direct physical sense. Let me give you an example. If you told your team to go out and get 5 new accounts, you better be willing to get a minimum of 5 or more. You can’t expect your team to do anything you are not going to do.

But here’s the thing, when you lead your team you are out in front, but you need to be in a position to visualize everything. When I am the leader of a team, I view myself in the middle. What does that mean? Imagine your team circling around you in the middle. You can now observe everything your team is doing.

Why is this important?

How are you going to see your teams individual and collective ability if your back is towards them? You will miss critical interactions, experiences, and motivations. Each one just as important as the next and can determine your teams level of success.

3. Communicate

Now that you view your team from a different perspective you have set yourself up for better communication.

You are now looking at your team instead of your team looking at you. It is a two-way street, a give and take. They look to you but you have to look to them as well. When you are looking at your team, you will be able to see possible issues before they manifest. Your team will start to see you as someone who they can talk to, work with, and achieve with. Instead of just working for you because that is what you told them to do.

Your team becomes symbiotic, it starts to take on a life of its own you can see things happening before they happen. When I led my platoons, this was what I strived for, the team could see what I was thinking. We moved as a unit, everyone did their job, and they did it to their utmost ability.

Imagine that for a second….

4. Realize your Individual Team Members Abilities

You have the right mindset, you have put yourself in a position to pay more attention and communicate. Now you can take care of your individual team members. I can almost guarantee at this point you are starting to feel the heartbeat of the team.

You can now focus on the individuals and see how they are performing. If you remember mindset is what gets you started and is one of the most influential steps. #4 is a close second and cannot be achieved if you haven’t done the work to get here.

The reason it is so important is that each member of your team has a particular ability and interest. It is the square peg in a round hole scenario. If you have someone in a team that hates detail but loves being artistic. You would probably put that person in graphic design instead of accounting.

But the only way you can be effective at doing this is by looking at your team members individually. In corporate America, I have been in charge of growing businesses. When I would be given this opportunity, I would apply everything you have learned up to this point. When we got to this step is when we saw vast improvements.

Think about it your team members are doing things they love at this point. Remember the last time you did something you love. Time probably flew by, and you felt more energized, no problem was too big. It is no different in your team.

Your ability and willingness to do this step will determine the future of each team members future on your team.

5. Look Out for Your Team

Now your team is firing on all cylinders, and it is moving right along. Now, what do you have to worry about? Your team’s success at this point is determined by your willingness to back your team up.

You are the team leader given a specific overarching task to complete. You have your own way of doing things. Your team believes in you and trusts you because you pay attention and trust them. When someone, no matter who it is questions one of your teammates you had better step in and make sure it is clear you are the single source to get to your team.

No one is allowed to reprimand, humiliate, or try and destroy one of your team members. You are the team leader, and it is up to you to keep everyone on track not anyone else with their own agenda.

I am not saying if it happens, go and yell at the person who did it. But very respectfully tell them, “this is my team, and you come to me when you need something, is that understood?” Something to that effect.

Enough said about that…

6. Putting it All Together

Once you’re here, you have a pulse on the team. It is now more important than ever to respect what you have learned and what your team is doing for you. Integrating these things into your everyday team life will benefit not only your team but the goals you have set out to achieve. Make no mistake you cannot go halfway with these things. You have to fully commit to this and believe me your team will feel it and all your metrics, KPI’s, etc. will be realized.


Congratulations, you have made it this far, so now is the time to execute. Every day come to the team room with the right mindset. View your team from the middle but lead from the front. Make it clear to your team that you are listening but also working with them through your actions. Start to see what each member is passionate about, and you are committed to standing up for your team.

6 steps to a more effective team, is nothing more than a commitment to you and your team. You are committing to be the best leader you can be, and you are showing your team that you truly know how to lead. Ask yourself if you are fully committed and willing to implement these 6 steps. Be the best team leader you always knew was possible starting today.

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