“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships” ~ Michael Jordan
Isolated experts are mostly weak, but they can turn impossible into reality when they form a team. Good leadership can maximize individual strengths by stitching their singular best. The strength of a large organization is determined by the strength of its group of units, all pulling towards a common goal. Hence, team-building takes the priority activity for any organizational success and prosperity. Successful leaders live and lead through the strength of their teams and units. They use inspiration as a tool to turn people towards combined necessities and form strong collaboration. Being a great leader is less about being the smartest but more about understanding team members to better assist, unite, and reach solutions. The far-sightedness of leaders is vital to bringing group members together in harmony. The best leaders always harness the strengths and skills of team members by uplifting their working environment. These leaders focus on enhancing solidarity, cooperation, and comradeship. They commit themselves to encourage and inspire all. Leaders help bring out optimum individual potentials for greater success and productivity. An expected, durable, and smooth organizational environment necessitates a culture of breeding productive teams and run-through effective team-building activities.
Team building is a method of distributing leadership. Operational leaders break down the goals, spread each part throughout, and empower members with specific responsibilities. Responsibility can enforce team members with a sense of pride, and the momentum originates all over the institution. It allows people to perform within the margins of acceptable behavior as defined by the values and visions of the organization. Effective leadership is not just controlling men from the top but unleashing the power of teams through appropriate guidance and accountability. As a leader, you are the pinnacle of your team, hence you need to uphold the utmost positivity while dealing with them. Always propagate cohesion, cooperation, and confidence among your men. You can encourage people and create a strong team through the following activities:
- Lead from the front by working hard personally—present practical examples of proficiency to encourage your team members. Secure hope among the men by your own performance, positive attitude, guidance, and fairness.
- Always maintain and protect a trustful working environment within the team. Let each member feel honored and enjoy confidence in you. Try helping team members to ease their work and transmit your self-confidence into your men. When leaders propagate confidence, followers naturally reciprocate through their performance.
- Show sincere compassion to your comrades in their hard times. Listen to them with care when they express their opinions. Praise them for their hard work, and never use inappropriate language for some mistakes.
- Respect your men and their emotions. Showing them respect does not mean you should cave in their whims, but it speaks that you care for each of their needs.
Team-building of a Small Group
Sir, Henry Ford experienced, “Coming together is beginning, keeping together is progress, and working together is a success.” When a new team forms, the primary necessity among the team members is to know each other, both personally and professionally. There should be sessions to familiarize each other where each person is introduced with their pride and specialization. An appropriate sense of humor can help icebreaking in a newly formed group. Spelling out the relationship and mutual expectations among the team members is essential during this first session. A conducive working environment is always helpful for growing mutual trust and confidence. The leadership environment should support and encourage all to uphold appropriate organizational behavior and help develop fellow feelings. Suitable interpersonal communication arrangements are also an excellent aid to help team bonding. Among all activities, team-building exercises are often effective in enhancing team spirit and teamwork. Some of the techniques of team building at the micro-level are:
- Interdependence Exercise. A trusting environment can strengthen cooperation and confidence among group members. However, such an environment is not produced out of advice or directives but only possible through binding up each member’s spirits. It is essential to build an institutional culture to take teammates close to each other personally. Helping each other at some physical necessities can influence mutual trust a lot. Military subunits and sports clubs often arrange such exercises. In those hilarious exercises, soldiers or players line up in two rows with a meter distance facing the same direction. People in the 1st row have their back to the 2nd row as they stand. In such an arrangement, the moderator instructs the 1st row to fall freely at their back, and the 2nd row guards their frontman against falling to the ground. Repetition of this exercise gradually develops a deep sense of interdependence and mutual trust. Organized games and sports are also helpful to build mutual confidence among team members.
- Eye Contact Exercise. Human eyes have some unique ability to communicate with each other and help to create pair-bonding at the subconscious level of mind. A 60 seconds eye contact exercise can be an excellent attachment-building activity at an individual level for a small team. Few people may feel uncomfortable during eye contact with each other for extended periods, but it helps human bonding stronger.
- Problem Solving Exercise. The concept of this exercise is to improve problem-solving skills among teammates and enhance organizational capacity. In this exercise, participating members are grouped into different teams, and each section is given some specific problematic situation. The moderator needs to watch every step they make towards solving the issue. Each team needs to organize themselves, and each member has to actively participate with their own opinions and logic to find the best answer to the problem. Each team may find several options to solve the issue through mutual discussion. In the process, all put forward their opinions and logic and finally make a joint decision. Once a collective decision is taken within a team, the group member’s responsibility is to agree with the team decision. To take away the best benefit, all teams may join a presentation session to learn each other’s views, opinions, and logic at the end of the exercise. In this exercise, leaders may reward the best team for encouraging teamwork.
- Socialization Exercise. As social beings, we enjoy social attachments. Exchange of greetings is an excellent culture to enhance social, organizational, and interpersonal bonding. Observing some occasions, arranging a picnic, cultural program, or making fun sessions are good examples of social bonding exercises. The primary focus of socialization is to create a positive environment to know each other through informal interpersonal interaction. These informal activities are always helpful to build teamwork and organizational relationship.
- Personality Developmental Exercise. Persons who are naturally shy or non-social may sometimes become part of the team. Their skills, talents, and capabilities can be valuable for the organization and individual group. Each team member is asked to list their shortcomings in this informal exercise. They should list those anonymously and hand them over to the training moderator. The team comes together and discusses the solution to each point in the list. During the discussion, nobody should be addressed personally due to the privacy concern. It looks like a brainstorming session. People with different shortcomings are likely to take advice and correction comfortably during the discussion. Once all are comfortable with each other within the team, they can be more productive in their performances.
- Motto Exercise. A well-articulated motto works as the mirror of any organization. It pronounces the purpose and objectives of the leadership. Holding the value of the motto with honor and respect is a necessity of this exercise. It keeps team members focused on the organizational goal with enhanced devotion. A slogan gets promulgated in this formal exercise, and all members need to show respect to the motto in a ceremonial session.
Success and failure run side by side. When a team fails, it needs to be addressed by pointing out the problem and not blaming the team. Blaming the team will demean the members who worked really hard. Apart from being unfair to them, this will also be detrimental to future assignments. In case of some unexpected outcome from a team, it needs to be addressed individually by finding out the individual issues. Remember, even if a team fails, they may bring precious experiences for the next to succeed.
Your leadership success will largely depend on the strength of your teams. Put your best to grow teams through inspiration and encouragement. Remember, leaders count less for the results but more for the team members working for the results.
 Michael Jeffrey Jordan is an American former professional basketball player and businessman. His biography on the official NBA website states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.”
 Henry Ford was an American industrialist, business magnate, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production.