How do you build a winning team?

Richard Wright

by Richard Wright

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:26


I’m sure we've all been there. You’ve met with a new client, delivered the killer pitch, and won that amazing new commission. It’s the morning after the big celebration when reality hits; now we’ve got to live up to our pitch and actually deliver this project! So you set about selecting your dream team. The people you can trust to turn an idea that’s good into something truly great. The most creative, skilled, motivated team in the agency. The most lethal gang assembled since October 26th 1881, when Wyatt Earp cleaned up in Tombstone Arizona! But who do you need? And what makes that killer team? When you are assembling a team, you have the luxury of combining skills. You can pick and mix different specialisms, temperaments and personalities to get the right balance. You’re probably going to want a blend of thinkers, drivers and doers in your team. But what if it is to be as a team of one? How do you find that one person? Easy: you apply the same approach, but remember you are unlikely to find someone who is your perfect thinker, driver and doer. So accept that you will have to mould, mentor and manage the person to get the best out of them.


Head, Heart and Hands

At Burrows we use the Head,Heart and Hands approach.

  • Head – Does the person have the knowledge and understanding needed to add value, problem solve, offer direction, and generally contribute with insightful informed thoughts?
  • Heart – Do they have passion? Are they going to inspire their peers, lead by example, support colleagues and be the driving force you need to get you over the line?
  • Hands – Do they have the skills to get the job done? These could be physical or technical skills, or a combination of both.

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As I mention above, unless you have the Midas touch when it comes to recruiting you are unlikely to find one person with all of these attributes. So you must think about how you find someone with a combination of, and potential to develop these attributes.

Once you have found them, you need to establish what their developmental needs are and how you can advance them. The emphasis is on the word ‘you’. Unless you find the perfect candidate who scored 10 out of 10 on all three criteria, you must mould, mentor and manage them. I’ll talk more about this in my How to lead a winning team blog, so watch this space.


Richard Wright

Chief Operations Officer