Five world leaders share their advice on how to build effective teams

Building effective teams is a crucial process in any organisation. It strengthens collaboration, supports a positive culture and increases satisfaction and performance from employees. We take a look at the advice from five of the top global business leaders and discover what team building approaches they have taken to achieve success.

  1. Tim Cook – demonstrating gratitude

Serving 10 years as CEO of Apple, Tim Cook has propelled the tech giant into becoming of one the most successful companies on the planet. He is known for promoting open communication, and motivating teams in the firm through public acknowledgement and gratitude. In a segment from an interview with Bill Boulding at Duke University’s Fuqua Business School, Tim said: “You look for wicked smart people. You look for people who appreciate different points of view. People who care enough that they have an idea at 11 at night and they want to call and talk to you about it.”

  1. Christine Lagarde – caring about staff

President of the European Central Bank, and former MD of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde has an extensive, diverse and successful business and leadership background. In a 2013 interview published in Harvard Business Review, Christine said: “You have to care about your staff—making sure you hear them and understand their take on the issues, making sure that everyone feels part of the team and is drawing satisfaction from their work.”

  1. Sheryl Sandberg – motivation and communication

Sheryl Sandberg is best known for her role as COO of Meta Platforms. Stepping down from the Facebook role later this year to give more time to her family and philanthropic work, her leadership style is known for celebrating employees’ successes and giving praise. Commenting on team motivation, she said: “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about.” In addition, she said: “Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis for successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work.”

  1. Satya Nadella – an open mindset

CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella has put the multinational tech firm back on the map with his leadership style and culture transformation. He is known for building his own teams positively through an emphasis on a growth mindset. Speaking to the Times of India, Satya commented that as well as discipline depth, the ability to work in teams with an open mind is important. He said: “Can you come in with that open mind to influence and be influenced? That is something that is a soft skill that is underemphasised.”

  1. Reed Hastings – a focus on talent

Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings explains his company’s culture model as like ‘The Hunger Games’, adding that in his organisation people are encouraged to look at the employees who would fight to keep if they were to leave the company. Reed says of team building: “If you’re going to win the championship, you got to have incredible talent in every position. And that’s how we think about it,” He also said: “We encourage people to focus on who of your employees would you fight hard to keep if they were going to another company?”



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