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The Leader’s Toolkit: 10 Tools to Build an Effective Team

The most effective leaders build their relationships through trust and loyalty, rather than fear or the power of their positions. The difference between success and failure is a great team. As a leader you are expected to get results which can only be achieved through people. Talent itself is not the chief criterion of an effective team. Many of us spend a large proportion of our lives at work and studies have found happiness is a good predictor of performance. Happy employees consider their jobs more meaningful and are more committed to the company.


The following 10 Tools when utilized can help a leader to Build a Team that runs like a well-oiled machine:

1. Adhesives - Navigating the 4 Stages of Team Development (forming, storming, norming and performing) requires the leader to be a harmonizing influence and not take sides. Pay attention to conflicts when they arise. Synergy on teams is achieved when team members feel comfortable with each other which requires collaboration. Design a culture where team members are treated like family


2. The Level - Renewing Vision and Creating Hope– Communicate vision in such a way that will keep your team fired up. Ensure each member on your team is on the same page. Make yourself always available. Keep the team on track by making sure everyone is up to date with information. Define Roles, give Clear Direction but also grant Independence. Goals should be SMART (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely).

3. Claw Hammer - Building and Fixing Relationships- Cultivate heart-centered  connection with others. Communication is one of the most important elements to a strong team performance. Keep communication clear, open and honest. Encourage listening, brainstorming and respect individuality


Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to Improve Teamwork

What is the MBTI?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most popular psychological instruments used to describe and measure personality characteristics. It is commonly used in business to encourage optimal communication and teamwork among different personalities.

4. Screwdriver Core Values - A resilient organization is embedded in ethical values and grounded on principle. Leaders must reinforce these to the team. Over time all other things may change – an organization’s people, strategy and finances, but its values should not. If these are allowed to degenerate, a team no longer has any unifying core, it will fragment.

5. Socket Wrench - Embrace Flexibility and Change whilst loosening bureaucracy. Encourage creativity and welcome feedback. Creative input should be encouraged from every team member on every project. Consider each employee's ideas as valuable.. Foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable to share their ideas. 


6. Needle Nose Pliers - Business Analytics is a foundational catalyst to better and more intelligent decision making.  Good decisions are the building blocks of great business performance. It would be beneficial to conduct a SWOT Team Analysis at this stage.

7. Cordless Drill and Bits - Strategy. When tackling big projects that require lots of energy and effort, it is more effective to break them up in small sections and lay a solid foundation for team expectations. This gives a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

8. Crosscut Saw - Eradicate obstacles that limit productive work. Empower your employees. Be sure to talk with members about the advancement they are making toward established goals so that employees get a sense both of their success and of the challenges that lie ahead. 


9. Tape Measure - Measure Performance and Results. The leader is supposed to find out what motivates his/her team and reward them for good performance as well as efforts made. Performance needs to be meaningfully rewarded. Discuss with your team:

  • What do we really care about in performing our job?
  • What does the word success mean to this team?
  • What other actions can we take to achieve our objectives?

It’s important to have clear units of measurement that will indicate levels of progress. In many organizations, appraisals are poorly conducted and rated unhelpful by those who are evaluated.

10.Utility KnifeTrimming and Pruning. Each employee must be held responsible for meeting goals and for the outcomes. While the utility knife may not be the most exciting of the tools, it’s a path every leader must take. You just can't fit a square peg in a round hole. The time comes when one must cut off dead branches or chisel away rough edges.



In conclusion, leaders create the right climate, lead by example to encourage feedback and prioritize the development of people. When these “nuts and bolts” are in place, staff will be engaged, happy and productive!

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Full article is contained in my new book. The Edge of Leadership: A Leader's Handbook for Success.

Online - Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in both Paper book and E book format.