Lessons from Teams Built To Dominate

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Rod Santomassimo’s latest book, Commercial Real Estate Teams Built to Dominate, is clearly written for commercial real estate (CRE) professionals. In the book Rod analyzes why integrated teams are the wave of the future and the present in that industry.

Then he uses case studies of successful teams and research into the science of teams to outline how CRE professionals can improve their lives and incomes by moving to an integrated team. If you are in the commercial real estate industry, this book should be on your must-read list.

I helped Rod with his book project, so I know about that. But I also write for businesses of all kinds and I know that there are lessons here for any business that wants to be successful. Here are the basics.

Rod uses a common definition of team. It’s “a small group of people making a coordinated effort to reach a common goal.” With that in mind, here’s what makes great business teams. A great team achieves business objectives and helps the team members achieve their objectives. Great teams have give characteristics.

Leadership is what “builds” great teams.

They don’t happen by accident. Someone has to take the initiative to create and maintain a successful team.

Great teams are made up of the right people.

This is not that Jim Collins’ view of generic right people. Great teams need people with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to help the team achieve objectives. They need to fill a role and they need to fit with the other team members.

That means that the great teams are fanatical about hiring people who fit. They get along with other team members. They have the same work ethic. They’re not the right people unless they’re the right fit.

Great teams pay attention to structure.

Great teams pay attention to how people work together and even how they sit. The teams Rod studied didn’t have virtual team members in the common meaning of that phrase. Most had virtual support staff, but the team members worked together, side by side.

Great teams communicate to coordinate.

Because they work together a lot of communication happens by “overhearing” other team members. But things don’t only happen informally. Great teams have processes, rituals, and a meeting cadence that helps assure that everyone gets every important message.

Culture is king.

On great teams everybody buys into “the way we do things around here.”

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