1. Humble yet confident leader– Humility and authenticity starts at the top. Confidence and courage starts at the top. Everyone wants to assume that team culture is created bottom up, but at the end of the day, great teams look to a leader.
2. Skilled linchpin– Most of the time this is the quarterback for a football team. Or the point guard for a basketball team. Or the project manager on a new technology being released. Or the producer releasing a new movie. Peyton Manning, Magic Johnson, John Lasseter at Pixar. Every great team has to have at least one linchpin who is crucial to the success of the team. Most great teams have several.
3. Clear Vision and Clear Goal– think about it. Pretty much every sports team we’ve ever played on had a clear goal- win the game, win the division, win the championship. Great teams have vision that inspires and goals that are attainable.
4. A cause greater than themselves– We all desire to be part of something way bigger than us. For the Saints, they played 2 years ago for the city of New Orleans. The 1980 USA Hockey team played in the Olympics for an entire nation.
5. Constantly getting better– great teams continue to improve on a daily basis. Great teams don’t allow for mediocrity to set in. They push themselves on a daily basis, and that accountability is held by the team, not necessarily just by the leader.
6. Get it done oriented- all about action. Great teams don’t just talk about it. They make it happen. They are relentless in pushing projects across the finish line.
7. Willing to fight- Great teams fight consistently. About ideas. About direction. About strategy. And the best ideas win. Trust is crucial. And everyone on the team trusts each other enough to fight for their ideas, and argue, and debate. And leave it at that. Great teams are competitive, but equally collaborative.
8. A standard of excellence always- great teams set amazingly high standards and goals. And they aren’t wiling to settle for second best. They never coast. And are always great at the little things, which makes them great at the big things.
9. Nimble yet mature– regardless of how big or complex teams get, they always stay nimble enough to make decisions quickly and change directions on a moments notice if needed.
10. Actually like each other– team chemistry is incredibly crucial. They want to serve each other. They believe in each other. There is a cohesive spirit and a sense of unity that others take notice of immediately.