Seems like I’ve been asked to discuss “TEAM” a lot this year; how to build a great team, determine why some teams fail so completely and provide some helpful insights into behaviors (good and bad) that are present in all teams.

At a recent All-Team Conference, I delivered a presentation entitled, “Your Team Sucks-Now What?” outlining team-killing power struggles, leadership mediocrity and indecision that prevent organizations from dealing effectively with their issues (and there are always issues). The consensus in the room was to build team success; leaders should focus on behaviors, reinforce and repair when necessary, and create accountability. In others words, Get REAL!

Reconnect: Successful teams need to come together around a common cause. So often, organizations set objectives that may (or may not) produce results for the business, but bring absolutely no satisfaction or gain to those people tasked with making it happen. Start by asking each team member “what matters most to them “individually.” Listen, and don’t take things personally, because it isn’t.

Engage: Now that you know what your team needs and wants, get busy putting them to work. Indecision KILLS all the momentum you achieve by asking people to get on-board, so now create realistic and clearly defined goals that are meaningful to the organization and turn loose your talent. They engage and you get out-of-the-way.

Aspire: What a great word. It means “to direct one’s hopes or ambitions toward achieving something.” Success really is a journey and if you act like you’ve been there before, your team will want to get there too!

Lead: Since there are no perfect teams, at some point there will be challenges and obstacles. This is where you “Lead.” Respond immediately and decisively. Don’t let emotions get in the way. Rebuild where needed and get the team moving forward again.

Remember, there is no “I” in Team, but there is a “U” in Suck!

If you want to build a great team, deal with the people and process issues at the moment of impact, reinforce the success standard and help your people finish strong. That’s REAL Leadership