Team Builder

achiever hiring influencing behavior leadership small business soft skills

For those of you who have been following along, you know that we are spending six weeks describing the attributes of an Achiever. An Achiever (someone who succeeds by setting and achieving goals) is made up of six attributes. We’ve covered the first three: Creator, Producer, and Survivor. Today we focus on the Team Builder. 

Take note, I did not say, “Team Player”. Certainly, being a team player is a great descriptor of anyone you work with. But this attribute, Team Builder goes further. This person actually takes responsibility for the good of the team. This slight elevation in perspective differentiates achievers from your other contributors. 

Jim Collins in his 2001 book, “Good to Great” identifies his 5 levels of leadership, which he states are crucial for team success. The level one fundamental of leadership is the “highly capable individual”. This is someone who makes valuable contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits. Of course, these are team members we need in order to complete the mission work of our business. But Collins calls out an even more valuable member of his leadership hierarchy: The level two leader is “The Contributing Team Member”. This person contributes individual capabilities to the achievement of group objectives and works effectively with others in a group setting. 

I think it’s an essential distinction. Just because a highly capable individual has talent, knowledge and skills doesn’t insure they’ll work well on a team. Sadly, we see this all the time. You have a very productive salesperson (and you love their numbers!), but you are constantly making accommodations for them due to their inability to work well with others. Ultimately, we will come to the conclusion that the best long-term approach is to have both: Highly Capable Individuals who are also Contributing Team Members. 

Consequently, we call this attribute the Team Builder. Here’s what they look like:

   -Consideration for others

   -Moves towards people

   -Good Listener


   -Sees strengths first in people

…and their Leadership Style:

  -Self-confident and self-motivated

  -Requires minimal supervision

  -Suggests improvements and recommends solutions

  -Promotes collaboration

  -Helps others do their best

  -Develops working relationships

  -Earns the respect and confidence of others

How should you use this information? 

First of all, evaluate and increase these skills for yourself. It is incredibly difficult to accurately see yourself as you are, so you can ask those you trust to help you. Setting the example in this way is the first step to a culture of accountability.

  1. Evaluate your leadership team with this template. If you are mentoring and developing leaders in your company, find your checklist for growth above. 
  2. Look for these attributes in your candidates past behavior. Don’t ask, “Do you think it’s important to be collaborative?” Instead, “Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with your team to get successful results.”

Is the Team Builder attribute a “deal breaker” for you? In other words, are you seeking good listeners who move towards people, develop successful relationships, and promote collaboration in the workplace? 

Yes, I think it should be. Let us know how we can help you find more of them.


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