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๐Ÿ†™ How To Create A Winning Team

The best teams in the world - whether in business, sports or elsewhere - don't just happen, they are made.

That's a simple and important insight. Because all too often I speak with leaders who see their team's performance as a given fact rather than an opportunity to shape it.

My thesis, which proves true again and again, is that if the leader really wants it, it is possible to form a top team from any group of people ("fellow workers") in a fairly short time, a team that reliably and joyfully produces top results. I call this a "winning team."

Productivity can be a multiple of the original as an effect, fun is significantly greater, attraction to talent increases, and so on. There are many positive effects that make the journey worthwhile for everyone.

Is that easy? No, of course not! Is it doable? Absolutely.

As with any major transformation in life as in business, there are a number of steps to take to make it happen. 

Here are three of those steps that are a good starting...

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๐Ÿ† Do You Already Have A Winning Team?

I'm always asked how people can tell that they have a "winning team." And related to that, what is the most important difference to a "normal" team.

Well, I define a "winning team" as a team that reliably achieves top results sustainably over a longer period of time while having fun.

Thus, outstanding results are certainly one criterion. But almost more important are characteristics that you sense in your team already on the way to becoming a winning team. Because these often come before the actual results - and also go beyond them.

Here are 3 characteristics by which you can well sense whether you are on the way to becoming a winning team with your people:
  1. You sense a high energy. Do people tend to wait or do they move forward? Do you feel like you have to "pull everything out of your people's throats" or does everyone make suggestions on their own? Is there laughter where you work or is everyone dead serious? Even though the energy of a team is only a qualitative criterion, you...
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โœ๏ธ What we learned last year

The past year has had its share of peculiarities, from the uncertainty caused by the pandemic to the disrupted supply chains.

Many business leaders are reporting new challenges that didn't exist before or were less prevalent.

From my own experience and my numerous conversations with leaders from all kinds of industries, I have distilled some key "learning points."

Here are the 3 most important learning points from the past year, from my observation, that we should capitalize on in the new year:
  1. Things can always turn out differently. If the year 2021 has taught us one thing, it is that everything can always turn out differently. The future has always been uncertain, of course, but in my view the speed of changes in direction has increased. As a result, those who are good at taking advantage of new situations instead of sticking to their original plans and strategies have understood the lesson and can create new successes.
  2. Focus on what is feasible. It is increasingly important to...
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๐Ÿ˜ƒ How happy are you as a leader?

Admittedly, the question in the headline may seem strange to you. Very few people associate "happiness" with leadership.

And wrongly so. After all, if you're going to put in all the hard work and overtime that usually comes with leadership positions, you don't want to be unhappy in the process, do you?

Quite a few don't let this consideration get to them. I love to ask my clients at the outset of our work relationship, "Are you happy doing what you do?"

Here's another hint: If you ask parents what they want most for their children, the number one answer you'll hear is, "That they're happy!"

So if it's most important to us for our loved ones to be happy, why not in leadership? And especially at this time of year, I think it's an obvious thought.

So, are you happy in what you do at work? And are the people on your team?

Because if you and your people are, everyone will enjoy performing at a higher level and have more fun doing it.

So, how do you manage to increase happiness for...
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How to develop a winning team

Top leaders form top teams. In my experience, this aspect, which is simple in itself, is often neglected in leadership coaching and training.

Why is this important? Well, one's own team is simply THE lever for greater influence and more success.

What many leaders pay too little attention to - and accordingly focus too little on - is the targeted development of the team into a winning team.

The goal is that this team, in principle without the leader, sustainably delivers top performance, takes full responsibility and enjoys doing so.

That may sound too bold, but it is achievable and unfortunately not very common.

How do you achieve this? Here are 3 key action items to turn your team into a winning team:
  1. Strong vision & winning team identity. Most teams I see have neither a strong and compelling vision nor a clear winning identity. In other words, they don't know enough about where they want to go together and they don't have clear aspirations for their mindset and behaviors to...
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What you should do more with your team now

A week ago, I wrote about what is more important in leadership from now on ( read the blog post here).

Today I am discussing what you should do more specifically with your team in the future.

The need comes mainly from the fact that with the pandemic it became clear that external influences are becoming stronger and more frequent. Anyone who now hopes for a return to "normality" will need good luck not to perish.

Therefore, more than ever, those teams and companies that consistently implement the following three topics will be sustainably successful in the future:
  1.  Constantly evaluate new opportunities on the market. 

    I see far too little effort in companies that people regularly deal with new business models, new market positioning and new ideas for products and offers. 

    By this I do not mean a "product development department", but that, for example, people from sales and other areas create new business models or Blue Ocean ideas. This also means that many more...
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The 3 crucial questions before you hire someone

Few things are as critical to your long-term team success as deciding who belongs on your team and who doesn't.

Although this fact is common knowledge, most decision-making puts too little emphasis on those questions that bring us closer to a winning team in the long term.

What do I mean by that? Well, winning teams function according to different rules than mediocre teams. The standards demanded of team members are sometimes quite different from the standards demanded of people who function well in average environments.

This becomes very clear in a comparison with team sports: the players of a team in the soccer Champions League are not only able to play soccer better on average than others (this is self-evident), but above all, they have different standards for themselves and the environment in which they operate. This includes much more than just the activity itself (soccer in the example).

That's why it's so important to ask someone these three crucial questions before accepting...
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The only 3 causes of conflict

Conflicts are part of life like salt in the soup. Especially in the professional environment, avoiding conflict is one of the causes of poor collaboration.

If we don't address conflicts, they smolder on anyway and lead to an artificial harmony that benefits no one.

Often, fear is the cause of holding back conflict because we don't know how to handle it.

To effectively deal with conflict, it is critical to know the root causes.

Here comes the good news: there are only exactly three basic causes of conflict. Here they are in a nutshell:
  1. Disagreement about the goal. It happens surprisingly often that two people get into a fight, even though the cause would be quite simple to locate: unclear or divergent goals. If the goal is clear and unambiguous, there is no need to talk about anything else - and certainly no need to argue. Therefore: first make sure that you have the same goals.
  2. Disagreement on the path. Even if there is agreement on the goals, there may be differing views on the...
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How to strengthen team bonding

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is how you can make a team out of your people that stand together and work closely with each other.

Unfortunately, the reality is often different: people work against each other, or at least there is a certain indifference to each other's goals.  

We are often so busy with our own stuff that there is no time and attention for the needs and problems of others.

Conversely, imagine what you could accomplish with your team if everyone marched with full energy in a common direction and everyone could fully rely on the others.

The gap between this ideal state and your reality shows your potential as a leader. And even if the gap doesn't seem too big to you, you usually have various opportunities to achieve more.

Here are the biggest levers, from my experience, to sustainably build team cohesion:
  1. Strengthen necessity. I experience time and again that people see little need to strengthen cohesion. In principle, many just want to do a...
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๐Ÿ‘ What sets top team members apart

winning team culture Jul 30, 2021

One of the most common desires of leaders is that each of their team members pulls together with the others in the same direction and delivers top performance with enthusiasm.

Well, unfortunately, the reality is usually quite different. Almost every team has a strong variance in all matters that would be important for a top team. Some people are not very motivated, others do not bring enough results, and still others take too little responsibility. And so on.

In my leadership coaching, I often direct attention to the composition of the team and what should be done about it if you want to create a top team. In any case, waiting and hoping for the better is not a good strategy (but one I encounter frequently). 

From my experience, there are three key characteristics that distinguish top team members from mediocre ones:
  1. Growth Mindset. Everything else stands and falls with one's own attitude toward personal growth. People with a growth mindset know that, in principle, they...
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