Success Factors in Team Building

Success Factors for Teams

There are many factors that ensure a team’s success or failure. Among them, the three most important factors are:

  • The nature of the leadership of the team along with a shared vision and sense of purpose
  • The collaborative nature of the team; and
  • The way in which the team members are empowered to the extent that they proactively participate in the team’s success.

The succeeding paragraphs look at each of these factors in detail.

If we take the first factor i.e. the leadership of the team and a shared vision articulated by the leader, it is obvious that a team is as good as its leader and a leader is as good as the team. Hence, this two-way symbiotic process determines the extent to which the team is successful. We cannot have good leaders without good teams and we cannot have good teams without good leaders. Hence, they go hand in hand and the ability of the leader to make his or her team believe in the shared vision of the team determines the success of the team.

The next factor that contributes to the success of the team is the collaborative nature of working that the team embraces. Often, people mistake collaboration for competition. Whereas the former results in a win-win situation for the team, the latter results in a win-lose situation which is detrimental to the overall success of the team. We cannot have teams where members work for individual goals at the expense of the team’s goals. Hence, successful teams adopt strategies where each member of the team “rises to the occasion” and puts the goals of the team ahead of his or her individual objectives.

The third factor that contributes to the success of the team is the way in which the individual members of the team are empowered to recommend changes and act in ways that enhances the team’s performance. Successful teams are those where the individual members can act independently and without taking authorization for each and every change and take decisions accordingly. Hence, a good leader and an effective organization would ensure that the “boots on the ground” are empowered enough to act as the representatives of the team or the organization.

Factors for Strained Relationships

The quality of interaction between the team members is the most important aspect of the relationships between the team members and hence this affects the performance of the team. Any strained relationships between the team members have an adverse impact on the way the team performs as a unit. Among the factors that strain relationships within a team, three of them would be the prevalence of personality clashes, uncooperative attitude among the team members and the games of one-upmanship that team members play with each other. The succeeding paragraphs look at each of these factors in detail.

The first factor i.e. that of personality clashes is important as this can have a corrosive impact on the relationships between team members. One or more members of the team may feel that the other members and they do not get along because of clash of values, priorities or style of working amongst them. So, this leads to a souring of the relationships between team members and hence strains the interactions between them. Though the relationships amongst the team members are mentioned, it can also be the case that the manager and the team do not get along because of this factor.

The other factor that can strain relationships between team members is the uncooperative attitude of some members of the team with the rest of the team members. Since we have mentioned the collaborative aspects of the team as one of key success factors, it is the case that if some members are uncooperative, it leads to the overall performance of the team being degraded.

The third factor that strains relationships within a team are the games of one-upmanship that some team members play with the others. There are instances where the manager encourages such behaviour overtly and covertly. Hence, the organization and the manager (as the case may be) need to watch out for such strategies and ensure that they do not “boil over”.

Most Critical Success Factor

The most critical success factor for a team is the way in which the team members relate to each other and the manager and vice-versa. This chemistry between the team members and the manager and within the team determines to a large extent the success or failure of the team. Once the elements of trust, integrity and commitment are established within the team and the manager or the leader communicates the same effectively to all the team members, the team is well on its way to becoming a high performing one. The bottom-line here is that the symbiotic relationship between the team members where each gives and takes from the other team members is the most crucial aspect that determines the success of the team.


This article has focused on what makes a team successful and the factors that lead to strained relationships. The essence of a team is the way in which the team acts in unison and in tandem and sings as a chorus instead of a solo performance. Once the team evolves to a point where the entire team acts as one, then the team could have said to be successful in meeting its objectives.

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