The Vital Importance of Team Chemistry, and How to Make it Happen

Nothing is more important to ultimate success than getting a team to work together optimally. Notice I didn’t say “well” there, I said “optimally.” To get the absolute best result, you need a team that understands how to best work together. You need a team that WANTS to do the work of working together, and you need a leader who knows how to inspire that attitude and culture.
Before looking at what others can do, consider what you can to make the situation the best it can be. This is the ultimate in proper management.

Sure, your people need to do their job, but you’re the boss. You need to do all you can to be at the top of your game before you expect others to get there.
Stop worrying about knowing how to do everyone’s job (and telling them to do it) and start working toward understanding how everyone’s job makes “optimal” possible. Each person is there for a reason. What is that reason, and how can you resource and place them to get the most out of that piece of the operation?

Equip Your Team for Success

Properly resourcing your team is vital to the success of any project. Sure, you can get by on a wing and a prayer, and you may actually enjoy some measure of success. But a shoestring budget just gets you moving. You need to actually consider the cost and properly resource your team. Why? Because nothing ruins team chemistry like resource envy. If one department is getting all the budget love, the others will begin to feel devalued. It’s not the amount that matters, it’s how properly each aspect of your business is resourced that determines how your team members respond. If they have enough to do their job, they will likely be too busy doing it to care how much other departments receive.

But resourcing is not the only reason team members bump up against each other. When everyone is aggressive and trying to get to the top, there’s bound to be some friction. You need to learn how to use that energy in a positive way. Create opportunities for your ambitious team members to advance by helping each other instead of working against each other. Help people see they are not trying to “get ahead” … they are trying to make a Bigger Picture work. Reward those who can see and understand the bigger picture rather than just those who are good at doing a job.

Recognize Your Team’s Efforts

Yes, individual awards are important, but if you focus too much on rewarding people for doing a specific task, you will not prepare them for taking that next step up, which requires more responsibility and a greater awareness of that bigger picture.

Finally, you need to understand exactly what each personality brings to the team. You will have creatives, technicians, managers, and entrepreneurs. While each of these people will be charged with a specific task, they bring both their talent and their personality to that task. Understanding how to enjoy the benefits of the former while cultivating the latter will reward you with greater team chemistry and, ultimately, better success.

David Milberg is an investment banker from NYC.