Is there a mystery to team building? No. Team building is no more mysterious than a construction project. However, all too often if there is a mystery, it lies in the fact that there is no plan for building the team or if one exists, the plan is not effective.
The building above is part of a large apartment complex. Can you imagine what the site would look like if there were no plans? The building and the grounds would look like something Moe, Larry, and Curly built in a Three Stooges movie.
A successful realtor
Recently I had an enjoyable conversation with a local realtor. Not only has this realtor invested in her personal growth, but she also encourages, expects, and supports the development of her team. As the owner of the agency, she selects books for her team and allows paid time for them to read and digest the material. Are you taking similar steps to build your team?
Additionally, this realtor knows the core values and strengths of her team members. Do you, your company officers, or chief officers know the same about the people who work in your organization? Let’s face it. There are employers, organizations, and supervisors that do not even know their own core values let alone anyone working for them.
You may say, “I don’t have time to do that and I’m sure not going to pay someone to read on my dime!” The realtor in this story is also busy, yet she finds the time and methods to build her team, and she is successful in her business.
Do not make excuses!
Don’t be the person who makes excuses for not building your team. My wife is fond of saying that excuses are the skin of reason stuffed with a lie. If you want to be effective, then develop a plan for your growth and the growth of your team. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Whether at the station, shift, or department level, do not fill your schedule with so much activity that there is not time to build your team. If your daily schedule is constantly filled with project work, public education visits, and meetings, when and where does time for team building take place? I’m not saying that those activities are not important. What I am saying is that without taking time to build the team, then the team suffers.
What steps are you taking?
To build an effective team you must first develop yourself. In the past eight months of 2023, what have you done to develop personally and professionally? Do you have a coach or mentor? What classes have you attended? What are you reading? Are you surrounded by likeminded individuals who desire to grow?
I devoted 37 years of my life to the fire service and in my position as a battalion chief I built successful teams. I can help you do the same. Visit my website at Individual Officer Development Options – Fire Officer Leadership Academy or send an email to [email protected].