The Road to Success is Paved with a Strong Team

You can benefit from the input of others whether you work alone, in a small organization, or a large company. The best of teams, however, will do you little good unless you take the time to know each member of the team.

Sports teams – professional and amateur – underscore the importance of knowing team members every time they set foot on the field, ice, court, etc. Teammates practice together, train together, travel together, and socialize together. They learn a lot about the reaction, recovery, and pivot capabilities. For sports, success depends on how well team members work together.

teamHockey players shoot the puck to the area their teammate is supposed to be covering; a basketball player makes a bounce pass to the spot his or her teammate can reach. Seeing achievements of teammates at practice spurs others to reach a little deeper. Athletes communicate during competition with words when possible, gestures when necessary, and screams when appropriate. Your business might not be so different from a sports team.

If you’re successful in your profession, chances are you’ve got a good team behind you. If you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, chances are you need to shore up your team. Here are a few tips to get your team lined up to support you.

  1. Identify your teammates. Coworkers, colleagues, committee members, volunteers, supervisors, trusted friends and advisors, mentors. You might be surprised how many people are committed to your success.
  2. Clarify the roles of every member of your team. Clear expectations are key to having a successful outcome. You’ll make the most of your team’s talents when everyone knows what’s expected of them, and what they can expect from you in return.
  3. Provide and receive feedback. Things didn’t work out the way you expected? Find out why – while a conversation or two might result in identifying the need for a major overhaul to your plans, you might also unearth minor changes that will result in the results you seek.
  4. Ask for input. When you’re stuck and are sitting in the funky chair of analysis paralysis, check in with someone on your team and ask for some help. Sometimes hashing an idea out with someone can save hours of hemming and hawing on your part.
  5. Say thank you. No two words are more appreciated than thank you. Make the time to thank all of those who lend a hand to you on your path to success.

Lace up your skates (or laptop), get in the game, and give it your all. Let me know how you and your team meet and beat the challenges you face.

About Deb

Deb Nelson, principal of deb nelson consulting, is a creative storyteller. She designs and implements communication plans that leverage strategic partnerships and provide innovative solutions for her clients. You can find her on twitter at @nelliedeb.


  1. In the days when I worked in an office, we seemed to go through the Tuckman’s Model, Deb because the audit team composition used to change and we had invitee team members from other verticals to help us with certain areas like system security, taxation etc. So there was lots of Forming and tons of Storming before we got to Norming. 😉 A lot depended upon the Leader to get the team working like a cohesive group and meet deadlines.

    Even now, when I outsource part of the work where I don’t have the required skill or it is easier for an expert to do the job instead of my spending time researching and implementing, I find things get done faster if I am an active member who reviews and suggests changes real time rather than review the final product. It is team work perhaps not in the traditional sense but things move faster and time is not wasted.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted..How to follow your bliss with business successMy Profile

  2. Once upon a time I thought I had no team except for my daughter/partner and then I had an aha moment and wrote a blog post about it. I had an enormous team that included my Coach, all the virtual people I communicated with regularly, people in my groups, family and friends who supported & guided me. I really got to look at the ways I interacted with them and saw I had a huge team. I loved seeing that.

  3. I, like Ros, have a network of virtual team members for my business that I run things past at times. For the most part however I am an introvert so do not readily play well with teams. I do a lot of work on my own and that works for me. Still, what you say makes sense Deb and knowing your teams strengths and weaknesses would be one of the top priorities to work out on my opinion.
    Ian Campbell recently posted..Low Price Or High Value – Which Way Works Best For SuccessMy Profile

  4. It has only been later in life that I have finally understood the power of being part of a community or team, Deb. I tend to be a solo flyer and often take on too much without asking for help. I realize that everyone in my life, both in person and online, are there supporting me and I’ve now got some key people in the virtual space who I go to and trust to be there when I can use some feedback or input. I believe the importance of being part of teams or communities is growing ever more important in a world that often breeds isolation and disconnection. It’s great to have people who get you and are there for you and where you know that support is mutual.
    Beverley Golden recently posted..You Should Take Fun More Seriously!My Profile

  5. Hi Deb 🙂

    It is very important to have a team of like minded people,but mostly I am “alone” and I have a few mentors that I follow and learn from 🙂 But, for the most part I educate myself and I learn those skills I need to succeed online through my blogging 🙂

    Great post!
    Joan M Harrington recently posted..Do You Have A Content Marketing Plan In Place For Your Business?My Profile

    • We’ve all got different ways of building out our teams – online resources let us do research without direct input from others through conversation, yet still take advantage of other people’s expertise. Teams take so many different forms – glad you’ve found the way that works best for you, Joan=>
      Deb Nelson recently posted..Morning Routine Leads to SuccessMy Profile

  6. team “two old coots” is made up of a wonderful team. The ones that give us internet so we can run our consults and business, the ones that handle our mailbox and courier deliveries, the ones that handle our technology, the lady that looks after my hair, another lady to handles my skin care and cosmetics (these two make sure I look my best on camera). These aren’t in house team members, but other small businesses that make up our extended team and without them, Joe and I would not be where we are today.
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