How to Build an Effective Team in 11 Simple Steps

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Energy Bus" by Jon Gordon. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to know how to build an effective team? How can you ensure your team is motivated and positive? 

Knowing how to build an effective team is essential for any leader because an effective team is much more likely to succeed with any project or goal you set for them. Build an effective team by fostering positive energy and uniting everyone under a shared vision. 

Find out how to build an effective team below. 

How to Build an Effective Team 

To find out how to build an effective team, follow these 11 steps:

1) Determine your vision: Want to know how to build an effective team? First, work with your team to develop a vision. Ask: What are our goals; what do we hope to accomplish; what do we want for the future?

2) Tie your vision with a larger purpose: Ask: What do we stand for; how can we make a difference; what great things can we strive for; how can we benefit others; how will our vision help our team grow?

3) Write down your vision/purpose statement

4) Focus on your vision: Give each member of your team a copy of your statement. Ask each member to review it daily and visualize the team achieving its goals.

5) Identify goals and actions: Ask: What goals does our team need to achieve to realize our vision; what actions do we need to take to achieve these goals? Give each team member a copy of the goals and actions. 

6) Invite others on the bus: Ask: Who else needs to be involved to help us achieve the goals and vision? Invite them to join the team.

7) Cultivate positive energy and enthusiasm: Engage and energize each other daily so negative energy can’t take hold. Build a culture of positive energy.

8) Confront ‘energy vampires:’ Identify negative team members who are hindering the team’s success. Give them a chance to succeed, but if they continue to be negative, eliminate them from the team.

9) Learn from challenges: Expect to experience challenges. Ask: What can we learn from this; how can we grow from it; what opportunity does this challenge present?

10) Love your team members: Let your team know you care about them and are committed to their success. Ask: How can I bring out the best in them; how can I spend more time with them and listen better?

11) Enjoy the ride: Knowing how to build an effective team is often about encouraging your team to work harder. However, remember that teamwork doesn’t need to be painful—it should be fun. Ask: How can we have fun and accomplish more; teamwork isn’t only about reaching a goal—it’s about growing as individuals and a team in the process.

How to Build an Effective Team in 11 Simple Steps

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Here's what you'll find in our full The Energy Bus summary:

  • How to turn things around when you feel unmotivated and discouraged
  • The 10 rules for reenergizing your life through positive thinking
  • How to build successful teams at work and improve your relationships

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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