ADVICE: How To Create A Winning Team

Mark Wager will be in Fiji from August 21-28. Contact Mark at if you want to know how Mark can improve your business.   Every team has a collective
25 Jul 2015 10:05
ADVICE: How To Create A Winning Team

Mark Wager will be in Fiji from August 21-28. Contact Mark at if you want to know how Mark can improve your business.


Every team has a collective mentality.

Within a team individuals are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviours and attitudes.

This “collective mentality” can be so strong that an individual may take actions which are not instinctive in order not to feel left out.

It’s the role of the leader to ensure that the collective mentality is a winning mentality and not a losing one.

A winning team mentality is required for ongoing success.

This type of mentality ensures that individuals have a positive environment in which they have the freedom and support to perform at their best and each member of the team has a level of accountability for their own and colleagues performances.

The only way to ensure a winning mentality is to establish a permanent team culture by taking the following steps.


Step One: Create a vision of the new future

  • Be ambitious, think about where you want your team to be and don’t be restrained by current realities or the mountain of obstacles that will be in your way.
  • Ask yourself truthfully where do you want this team to be. If your instant reaction to your new vision is hesitation and a level of discomfort then you are on the right track.
  • I’ve always described leadership as the ability to install power and belief in people in order for them to reach levels they never felt were imaginable.
  • If you intend to become a quality leader then many things suddenly start becoming possible.


Step Two: Formulate the strategy

  • People often get confused between strategy and tactics. The best way to think about it is to remember that strategy is the “what” and the tactics are the “how”.
  • You need a strategy in place that explains at a high level what needs to happen in order for the new vision to be realised and you will find that later on you will develop tactics, and they may well be several of them to deliver the strategy.
  • The correct strategy required in order to establish a winning mentality has to be a short statement that convinces people that if in place will ensure the desired vision to materialise.


Step Three: Align personal ambitions

  • Now is the time to start convincing the individuals.
  • Meet people on an individual basis and find out what makes them tick, ask about their personal ambitions.
  • At this stage keep the conversation away from the team and focus the discussion on the individual.
  • The key is to find their burning ambition and to align that ambition to the new vision.
  • If people can see how the realisation of the new vision delivers their own ambition then you will get buy-in on a high level.


Step Four: Time for detail

  • At this stage you should have some engagement or at least interest from the team to hear more about the vision.
  • Now is the time to establish the tactics that will make the strategy real which in turn makes the vision real.
  • Your tactics should be several statements which are medium level, each strong enough to convince people that if implemented will deliver the strategy.
  • The next part is establishing the behaviours that enable the tactics to be realised.
  • This is an area that is often missed as the behaviours can be quite mundane but it’s in this detail that success is formulated.


Step Five: Establish accountability

  • Once everyone realises their connection between small tasks and the overall strategy for success, then it’s time to make it clear who is responsible for what and how failure in those actions impact other people.
  • It’s time to make people accountable for their actions and people need to be prepared to hold their colleagues accountable for theirs.
  • Successful teams have what is called “low tolerance threshold” this means issues can be raised easily and promptly without causing offence.
  • And it enables an environment of continuous improvement to be promoted with people getting prompt precise feedback on how to improve.


Step Six: Celebrate small wins

  • It will take a long time to create a winning mentality and the desired mentality needs to be reinforced at every opportunity so ensure you celebrate the small wins as they occur.
  • Some people will see it as strange at first but as human beings we are driven to continue behaviour that is rewarded.
  • Stop behaviour that is discouraged so celebrate the small wins and ensure people realise that each small win is another piece of evidence that proves the desired vision can become real.
  • Given time your team will start believing and when they do you will have that winning mentality you and your team have been searching for.

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