Feb 192009

There are many types of teams – there are sport teams, debate teams, dance teams, teams of horses, and there are of course, business teams. There are even more types of teams, which you could probably list if you wanted. Teams can be good, bad, so-so, or great.

If you look at just these few listed here, what do they have in common and what makes a great team? All teams are comprised of more than one person, and let’s face it when you get more than one person in the same room, the dynamics change. The individual is no longer dealing with one set of ideas or policies, or need. The dynamics of a group of people brings into play different ideas, comments, thoughts. The issue becomes, how to develop and build a great team.

In looking at teams and what they have in common, it becomes fairly obvious there are three underlying principles in building a team and it is how you ACE it.

ACE stands for:

A – Accountability

C – Commitment

E – Empowerment

Accountability is the first ingredient in team building. When putting a team together, make sure you set goals and establish the purpose for the team. It becomes the “job description” for the team and helps the team members understand their functions within the team. Effective leaders lead their people and inspire them by creating an environment that motivates them to ask, “What else can I do?” over and over until the results are achieved.

The daily activities that comprise people’s jobs must then be consistently in alignment with the targeted results. This can happen only if people understand the results they are supposed to achieve in the job they are to perform. Accountability is assuming responsibility for the actions and results that is the charge of your team.

Commitment, the second ingredient in team building is defined as the bond of an employee to the organization, the strength of which depends on the degree of employee involvement, employee loyalty, and belief in the values of the organization. In other words, the desire to do well, succeed, and make the team (the organization) look good is important to the team members, both individually and as a whole.


is the third ingredient in building a team. Empowerment is the ability for management to allow employees to make decisions. Building decision-making teams is often one of the models used in employee empowerment, because it allows for managers and workers to contribute ideas toward directing the company. When employees feel as though they can choose and can make direct decisions, they usually feel better about themselves and their jobs and the organization. Employee’s who are not constantly watched and criticized are more likely to consider work as a positive environment, rather than a negative one.

By working together for the good of the organization, teams can provide effective and efficient processes. Once the goal or purpose of the team has been reached, the team can be disbanded. The individuals can then be available for other teams to be established as needed. Team building is a fluid operation of the organization and changes with the needs and goals of the organization. In fact, some individuals may be participants in more than one team at a time. It all depends on the ability of the individuals involved and what they are tasked to accomplish.

If they establish their team structure and follow the guidelines, they will in fact, ACE it.

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  5 Responses to “Building a Team – How to ACE it”

  1. An excellent combination of attitudes that will really kickstart a team’s attitude. The great thing is that once you’ve completed the 3 steps, and the employees feel empowered – you don’t need to worry about having the controls in place to enforce accountability so much.
    .-= Fred@Leadership´s last blog ..Leadership Development =-.

  2. Great tips Lola. I especially like the idea of giving people the ability to make decisions for themselves and help move things forward. I’ve found that team building also benefits from helping people build deeper relationships. I’m thinking in terms of helping people connect each other on a deeper level through sharing ideas and stories and building empathy in the process. People benefit as well from learning about the things they have in common.

  3. Great article! Agree you need A, C, E. I would add 2 more: B for Balance and D for Data. You need a balance of personality. Everyone can’t be leaders and you can’t have no leaders. Then Data (analytics) to identify the balance. Great post!
    Mike recently posted..Talent Analytics- Corp Blog- The Fact Based Talent AdvisorMy Profile

  4. I would add a fourth element – performance. At the end of the day, a team has to perform better than individual team members would on their own. It’s important that performance is measured too.You could have strong accountability, commitment and empowerment in a team, but it will may not perform as it should.

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