Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn
Courtesy of Ruder Finn, Inc.
By Kathy Bloomgarden
August 3, 2015

MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How do you build a strong team? is written by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.

Business these days requires a team mentality, as the workplace increasingly depends on collaboration, common goals and embracing shared values. But in order to really drive success, we must move beyond ‘group think’ and focus on how we’re going to establish a killer team that doesn’t shy away from bumps in the road.

Hand over the leadership reigns
The most unproductive meetings are those where there are too many strongly opinionated leaders, with no one individual willing to take charge, drown out the noise and set a path forward. Often the success of the team is about getting beyond the circular discussions (we’ve all been a part of them!) and taking action. This requires handing over the reigns to someone hungry and not afraid to make quick, hard decisions and keep the team moving.

See also: 3 misconceptions about leading a successful team

Set aggressive goals
I’ve learned that a key reason for employee turnover is boredom. If you put individuals in one position for too long, they will eventually feel ‘stuck’ and are more easily lured by new opportunities, especially the millennial generation. It’s important to work with each person to set aggressive yet realistic goals for growth, and arm employees with a hungry team willing to achieve them. If employees are encouraged to be part of a team that sets tough targets they will fell stimulated, challenged, and part of something important.

Empower your teams to own it
Once aggressive goals have been established teams need to own what they sign up for. This means driving projects that produce results, giving tough love when necessary and speaking up when there are issues. When each member of the team feels personally invested in the goal they are working to achieve, amazing things are possible.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: How do you build a strong team?

How to build a strong team without micromanaging by Sally Blount, Dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Here’s the secret to getting better employees by Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite.

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