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The 7 Foundations of Successful Teams

Duncan Brodie

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Imagine trying to build a house without laying the foundations. How long would it last and how successful would it be. Just like a house, successful teams need certain foundations to be in place if they are to prosper. So what are these foundations?

Foundation 1: Goals and strategies

Successful teams need to have clearly defined goals or outcomes that they are aiming to achieve. In addition they need to have the clarity on the steps that will need to be taken to achieve those outcomes. Think of goals as the destination and strategies as the route or steps to success.

Foundation 2: Right people

Teams will only prosper if they have the right people with the right skills, knowledge, experience and attributes in place. As a leader of the team, take care to select people who will help you to achieve the outcomes you desire.

Foundation 3: Right resources

Going back to our example of the house, imagine foundations had been laid but there was no cement to hold the bricks together. The absence of this vital resource will have a huge impact. Teams are no different. If they don't have the right resources at their disposal they will struggle to deliver.

Foundation 4: Effective decision making

Without effective decision making, teams will generate lots of ideas without ever translating these into action and results. Decisions are what moves things from concepts to results. Make sure that you develop effective decision making processes.

Foundation 5: Trust

Unless there is trust in teams, people will continue to act in their own interests rather than the interests of team results. Building trust is a vital foundation in successful teams.

Foundation 6: Effective leadership

Teams without effective leadership will drift and struggle to achieve meaningful outcomes. As a leader of the team it is important to avoid drift and at the same time avoid imposing ideas and solutions.

Foundation 7: Optimism

Optimistic teams are positive. They believe that they can achieve better results and outcomes. They also recognise that obstacles will arise and will require effort to overcome.

Bottom line: If you want to create successful teams, make sure that the foundations for success are in place.

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with teams in organisations who want to be more effective and achieve sustained success.

He is an authorised Facilitator for Team Coaching International's Team Diagnostic Asssessment.

Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at


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