Four Qualities of a Team

[I had an extremely long week. I spent the week helping my father in-law clean up his father’s house in Mariposa, CA (A small town about 40 miles away from Yosemite Park). We had short nights and long hardworking days. I wrote this post in 2010 but I’m sure you no one has ever read it. I know your going to enjoy it!]

During my High School years I was involved in Cross Country and Track & Field. Most of the four year time I was on the varsity team. Our Cross Country won districts one year and went to the State competition Twice. We were one of the top teams in the competitive district. The seven varsity team members had to work as a team during the races and while in practice. It took teamwork to be a winning team. Here are 4 qualities of a successful team:

1. Purpose and Vision- A team needs to have vision of where it is going and what they want to do. Our team wanted to win races and make it to state. Your team needs to have a vision and strive to accomplish it. The purpose and vision of the team should be talked about on a regular basis so that everyone is on the same page and knows where they are going.

2. Relationships- A good team is where team members can have friendships and enjoy working together. Our team spent time off the track building friendships and having fun with each other(and occupationally teepee’d other team members house). This built trust and friendships. Take the time to connect with your team outside of the normal routines and outside of work.

3. Strengths- Our team knew the other team members strengths and weaknesses. We raced with the techniques that best suited our strengths. Every team should now the strengths and weaknesses of the other members.

4. Ongoing Learning and Training- Our team was always growing and training. Even during the summer time we would still practice as a team. While everyone else was having fun we were training. Looking back now I can see it played a huge role in our success. Team members should always be growing and learning. This can be done by attending a conference together or holding regular training events.

We had a successful team because we had a purpose, built friendships, knew our strengths and weaknesses and had ongoing training. I would encourage you to do the same thing so that your team is strong and successful.

Question: What are some other qualities of a successful and winning team?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • It’s really tough to come up with a solid answer to your question, Dan. You covered a lot of the bases in a good team already. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been part of a team that I felt was truly successful. A lot of my friends and I call joke and call ourselves “trysofts,” which is a joke on the more popular term “tryhard.”

    Perhaps that in itself could be another point, except the opposite. We never took anything seriously and I would think that is what led us to be terrible teams. A successful team must both have purpose as well as the mindset to take things to heart and want to succeed.

    • Thank you for reading and sharing. It seems like you have a close group of friends, which is great!

  • Purpose and chemistry is a powerful combination when it comes to forming a team. If you can nail those two items, the rest usually falls into place.

    I would add independence. Even though teams are about the group, it’s important for each member to be empowered to make their own decisions. That’s the difference between a team and a squad.

    Cheers!

    • Great addition Trevor. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • I think you’ve covered the core ones Dan. Taking time to connect outside normal routines and work does make a huge impact. I know that I’ve learned and connected the most during normal “life”. You get to glean and “catch” many things.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Ngina! It’s an important aspect when it comes to having a strong team. Thank you for sharing.

  • DS

    Dan it’s great to see a little bit more of your personality shining through your post! Selflessness is one trait that sticks out in my mind.

    • “Selflessness” is essential when it comes to having a winning team. Glad my personality shined through in this post. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

  • Micky Diaz

    Integrity plays a huge role as individuals first. Then as a result, the team is greatly impacted. Great post Bro. Dan!…:-)

    • I totally agree Micky! Thank you for adding to the discussion.

      • Micky Diaz

        Anytime my friend!…:-)

  • The team has to jell together. Continuing with your the sports theme, I’ve followed several teams, who on paper, were made up of numerous talented players. They should have been championship-type teams. When the lights came on, however, they never quite reached their full potential and ended the year with a mediocre record.

    • I’ve seen plenty of teams like that! It shows that team work really does matter over skill or talent. Thank you for adding to the topic and discussion.

  • As a coach I’d say that is a great list. If winning is a priority and part of a lifestyle it’s going to come quicker or closer. In the end it is that attitude that defines winning. Winning isn’t measured by a number… It’s measured across a lifetime.

    • Great points! A leader should instill traits into their team that when they are no longer on the team they will still have the traits to win in life. Thank you for sharing.

  • Dan, I think you are describing exactly what we we try to do with our Organization. Each one of your points resonated with me because they are so vital to teamwork. The one I like best is relationships. Not saying that one is more important than the other but, I believe that by building relationships it makes connecting and bonding that much easier. Great list.

    • Glad the post resonated with you. Relationships are so important. i would say having fun and creating positive experiences with others is a great way to start or grow a friendship. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Bernard Haynes

    Dan, all of these four qualities are necessary to build a solid team. I lean toward having a purpose and vision to be the most vital because without a vision the team will perish.

    • That’s an essential aspect when it comes to having a winning team. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • It’s wonderful you were able to help your family out. I miss not having my dad and father-in-law to help with things (the Bible says to take care of widows and my husband and I have two we now help through things like lawn work, moving heavy items, etc.)

    Anyway, I think talking regularly about goals/vision is so important. We must never assume we are all on the same page. The only way to know we are working together is by talking/listening.

    Great post, thanks for re-posting it.

    • Great first points about helping others, it’s so important to do that (Even if it does take a lot out of us).

      I totally agree about goals/vision those things can never be over communicated. Thank you for sharing.

  • Like how you related this to a high school sports team. I forwarded to my two junior high boys as it fits with what we are trying to teach them about being on a team. You worded this in a way that I think they’ll be able to understand and learn from. Plus, three of us are runners (me, my husband and my 14-year-old), so we can especially relate to that aspect.

    • That’s great! I hope it helps them. I still enjoy running/jogging and think it’s a great thing to do. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • These are great Dan and I hope you get some rest buddy!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. I will:)

  • This reminded me of my old cross country days. My freshman year in college I took a swimming class which was taught by the woman’s cross country team coach. One of their team members had just dropped out and they needed one more person to join the team or they wouldn’t be able to compete.

    Being the people pleaser that I was in those days, I said, “Sure, I’ll join,” and then lived to regret it! I ran for fun, not competition, and I always came in last every race with a smile on the face. My coach said, “If you’re still smiling, you’re not working hard enough.”

    The next time I came in last, I faked a frown.

    • HA, that’s great! At least you joined the team and run for the fun of it (even though you had to fake being happy:) Thank you for sharing part of your story!

  • Communication, communication, and did I say communication? A rock solid team needs clear communication to function well. Without it, doubts and fears begin to arise. Clear communicators help bring the team together.

    • I totally agree Joe! Thank you for adding to the topic.

  • I think being on the same page is vital, if only the leader has the vision they’ll start to crash and burn, that’s definitely a responsibility of the leader.

    I’d also add to Trevor’s point about independence, I think the knowledge of worth within the team fosters incredible growth and empowers individuals to rise up to the adversities. Lovely thoughts Dan!

    • Great points Nick! The vision has to be bought and lived out by everyone one the team. Each member must be doing their part to advance forward. Thank you for taking the time to read and share. I always appreciate your insights.

  • Hi Dan,

    That’s a very good post indicating some core qualities for a team to have :)

    In a team, it’s about working everyone towards the same goal. Vision and relationships matters most as I guess. Communication is an important factor to interconnect most parts.

    While assessing the strengths and weaknesses, the action plan needs to be created and suited responsibilities should be shared among members, no? :) Without proper planning and utilizing human resources, it won’t succeed as they predict for sure.

    Cheers…

    • Hello Mayura,

      Thank you for reading the post. Great points! It takes all those things. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Hi Dan,

    This was a wonderful post on the qualities of a team, my friend.

    I love working in a team. I really enjoy the dynamics of team working during training course when we have been put together with strange people and suddenly have to work together. I think what happens is that the more time we spend with people in our team, we naturally bond with them. We realise that our success is dependent on each other and we want each other to do well.

    Thank you.

    • Dan, you’re right. I hadn’t seen this post before. But I like the qualities you outlined here
      As I was scanning comments, I liked what Hiten said about being thrown together with strange people. That’s something we don’t often think about, is it?
      Thanks both for the thought provoking ideas.

      • Hi Skip,

        I know what you mean. The being put with strange people really is an interesting one. The way that a team can bond in such a short space of time and really look out for each other, especially after being put together quite soon, is fascinating.

      • Glad it’s new too you:) That can really help us change and get outside our comfort zone. Thank you for reading and taking time to respond.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post:)

      Team work really can make a huge difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Dan, teams are usually strong together than individually. A couple essential qualities effective teams have – good communication and loyalty. Teams that work together have to be able to talk together. And loyalty between team-mates is necessary. If half the team thinks you’re going to walk off the field at any moment or join another team, you lose a lot of trust and friendship in the process.

    The most important quality is purpose and vision, like you point out. If a team has a shared purpose and bought into it, no one and nothing can stop them. Just ask the SF Giants last year:)

    • Great points Vishnu! The teams who can work together will win together. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the conversation.

  • Antoine Martiano

    Indeed. A purpose and a vision. That’s a top notch quality that a team must have. Many teams are formed but they don’t have that purpose and vision but just based on common interests. Having a purpose helps you improve not just individually, but as a whole. http://www.52techniques.com – Sales tips from a business development Expert

    • I believe the purpose and vision are the fuel that drives the team and organization forward. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • I think purpose and vision do so much to make a team a team. It binds them together. It fuels everything else – the relationship, the strengths-finding. It all starts with vision!

    • I totally agree with you Loren. Thanks for sharing.

  • Love this, well said. I too ran track (just one year), but can relate to what you said.

    • I loved running track and Cross County:) Thank you for reading and commenting.