Putting together your senior team often sounds like you’re ready for some football

I ask: Who can resist the opportunity for a football reference in the fall? When the topic is administrative team building, it’s just too good of a metaphor to pass up (yep, completely intentional pun).

Teams that win are successful because the organization rosters good players and the leadership knows how to leverage individual skills for a collective win. Here’s what has worked for Our Lady of the Wayside:

Training Camp: Cross train administrators

Group projects at The Wayside are developed with cross-training in mind. More than enabling administrators to share information from their respective professional specialties, group projects build the team by positioning co-workers to implement peer-to-peer cross training. Group projects are uniquely effective because they

  • Enhance knowledge and experience.
  • Promote professional respect.
  • Educate staff about organizational resources.
  • Support ongoing training.
  • Provide back-up staffing when key staff members are unavailable.
  • Build trust.

Playbook: Team problem-solving

Any Monday-morning quarterback can identify a problem but it takes a team to formulate and apply an effective solution. A team approach allows the hit from a problem to be absorbed by the team — thereby lessening the blow.

It also allows for the team to bust a nice victory dance in the end zone when the solution is created and implemented. If a daring strategic goal goes wrong, finger-pointing is minimal, and the team can learn from the mistake together.

Dialogue goes from, “You have a problem” to, “We have a problem” to “Here’s the problem, and here’s how we’re going to turn it around.” At its best, problem-solving will:

  • Foster creativity.
  • Promote brainstorming.
  • Focus on solutions.
  • Lead to anticipate problems.
  • Create an administrative think-tank capable of growing the organization.
  • Build trust.

Teamwork: Build trust

Yes, that’s the third time you’ve seen “build trust” in this article, but it’s worth repeating. When you and your administrative team trust each other it shows that everyone has the organization’s best interest as their professional motivation. Trust allows for:

  • Shared responsibility for success and failure.
  • Heated dialogue that produces results instead of insults.
  • A healthy balance of risk and reward — with a professional safety net of a team looking at all sides of a project or issue, individuals are more willing to bring bigger ideas to the table.

A little swagger isn’t a bad thing, and it happens when people accomplish more than they ever thought possible. Individual players accomplish more by being a part of a strong administrative team that effectively uses resources and tools.

Ya, you’re ready for some football … so huddle up and go post a few victories for the organization!