Four Strategies to Build an Effective Team

Today I’m on the road with my husband of 30 years, Stephen. Yesterday we went through Minnesota, South Dakota, and much of Wyoming. Later today we’ll go through Wyoming, into Idaho, and arrive at our destination in the Grand Tetons. We’re attending a dear friend’s son’s wedding. We are joyfully optimistic that the happy couple has what it takes for a long, healthy marriage.

As we drove through the wide-open spaces the more connections to this trip rose in me relating to our TIN topic of the month: PEOPLE. We define people in terms of team and Human Resources. Mastery in this aspect of your business looks like this:

Effective leadership is in place. Roles and responsibilities are defined. Everyone is playing to their strengths. You and/or your team are committed and content.

Here are a few ideas I was thinking about while on this drive:

  • Always find joy in the journey
  • Choose the right partner
  • Find the right seats for you and all the passengers – be willing to switch seats when needed
  • Create a plan and follow it – be this a map or your business plan
  • Allow for open spaces to reflect – you didn’t get to this place overnight. How did you do it?

So what does this have to do with good leadership and strategies to build an effective team?

Permit me to give you a real example.

I have big dreams and they are coming true. Here are 2 of my personal and professional goals:

  • Personal: Live well with my chronic disease, gastroparesis.
  • Professional: Co-create a platform to empower small business and nonprofit leaders to confidently grow and prosper by connecting them to high-quality experts who not only coach or teach, but live these principles as well.

Accomplishing these purposeful goals brings me tremendous joy because I have a great partner, a team that is growing and evolving. And frankly, like most successful people, I have a plan that allows me to be nimble and switch seats when necessary.

My goals are aligned with living my purpose.

As we cover many miles of open, spacious land, I want to share the action steps that we take to build an effective team. Here are four strategies I use that may help you.

Clear mission, vision, values, and commitment to excellence.

We keep our Mission, Vision, and Values in front of us. We notice and celebrate when someone on our team puts them in action.

Do you remember what yours are? If not, check out ours as a guide. See them here:


We use and are testing Slack to communicate with our team. We also have a coach’s portal with everything our team needs to work within the platform. This allows us to continually incorporate feedback.

Every Monday we have a dedicated standup meeting with our team to ask “What roadblocks do we need to move for you to reach your goals this week?” And, every Friday Tom and I have a 30-minute founders meeting to check in and recalibrate. Plus, we check in with our coaches monthly to make sure we are all on the same page.

Embrace ambiguity

We’re committed to following the Lean Startup Process. That means we continually look at ways to conserve time and money. Flexibility includes paying attention to who is sitting in what seat. If they are in the wrong seat let’s move them and check in after the change to see how it’s going.  

When we recognized that I could serve TIN better by focusing on relationships vs all the to-do’s with marketing & social media, we hired our first Virtual Assistant. The result was undeniable. Moving someone into the social media marketing role freed me up to do what I do best. We saw our numbers increase dramatically with just this small change. It was a win for the business, a win for the VA, and a win for all the new clients we were able to serve. This is a Win-Win-Win value in motion!

Care about your employees and your own wellness.

As an entrepreneur, I want to control my calendar so I can flex around my personal needs and take the time I need to be physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy. I want everyone on my team to do the same. It’s ok to say no without an explanation.

All of us are different and what balance looks, sounds, and feels like is also different.

Some days I only work an hour or two. Sometimes I choose to work Saturday mornings or an evening when I’m feeling inspired. On a good day, I work 7 hours.

The truth of it is that I LOVE what I do but I KNOW with all of my heart that it is not healthy to work every single minute of every day. That would quickly turn from focused, intentional work to entering the Slog Zone.

For your team, that might mean checking in with them to make sure they are not getting burnt out and opening up some personal time. Even just talking about it can make them feel that you care.

So, as I’m staring up at the incredible Grand Teton mountain range I’m overwhelmed with feelings of awe at nature. And feelings of deep gratitude to be on this journey with all of you reading this blog. I hope this inspires you to consider how you lead your people and build an effective team.

As a business or nonprofit leader, you don’t have to be good at everything. Find the partners, get them on board and in the right seats. Open your map and correct the course when necessary. Most importantly, find joy in the journey!

You may also like to read:

How Our Target Market Strategy Changed Our Business

How I Learned the Importance of Work Life Balance the Hard Way

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