Building a solid team is an art. I’m here to help you master it.
Why do some teams work seamlessly, outperforming expectations and pushing through setbacks— while others crumble under the weight of pressure, infighting, and a lack of collaboration and trust?
Join me as I share 9 battle-tested strategies to create an unshakeable, resilient team that not only works great together but thrives under any circumstance.
These strategies are designed to boost your team’s resilience, whether you’re a corporate leader, a sports coach, or even a family head aiming for stronger family unity at home.
This isn’t about motivational talks or outdated advice. I’m exposing the practical, raw techniques that’ll guide you to your next level of leadership. From harnessing the power of open communication to leveraging success through failure, these strategies will ignite the fire in your leadership style and those you lead. So if you’re tired of watching your team crumble in the face of adversity, you’re in the right place.
But tuning in is just the beginning. Now, I’ve got a challenge for you: After listening to this episode, let me know which strategy resonates with you the most and that you’ll likely apply within your team. Share it on social media, don’t forget to tag me and use #STFpod. Let’s make good leadership contagious. 💪🏻
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Have you ever wondered what makes some teams work well together, outperform expectations, and achieve more? These teams seem to bounce back stronger after setbacks and after failures, while others crumble under pressure, and they have infighting, and lack of collaboration, and lack of trust. Well, today I'm sharing nine proven strategies to build an unshakable, resilient team that works together, works well together, gets more done, and...
[00:27] Does so in a way that makes people want to do the work. And if you're leading a team, or if you want to lead a team, this episode is for you. Welcome to another episode of success through failure, the show for successful people, and for those who want to become successful, the only show that reveals the true nature of success.
[00:46] This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. and today we're talking about how to build a resilient team. Now we've all been part of maybe resilient teams, or we've seen resilient teams or been part of, or seen the opposite, right? These teams that have infighting and they lack collaboration, lack trust. People are talking behind closed doors.
[01:05] You see them go into offices and they're talking and you're wondering what they're talking about. And they come out and they kind of let everybody looked at them funny. And you know, something's going on. You know, that people are just unhappy. But maybe you've also experienced or seen those teams that, that really collaborate and there's trust, there's respect, people are working together.
[01:23] People show up early, stay late. People want to be there. We've all either, like I said, seen those or been part of those. So what's going on there? Like, what is it about those teams that allows them? To have the success, the resilience, the innovation that those successful teams have versus all the negative things that those other teams have.
[01:43] So I'm going to break this down. So if you're in a leadership role or you want to be in a leadership role, whether it's by title or not, these are for you. Now, this episode is not just for. You know, leaders in corporate situations, this could be leaders of sports teams. This could also be leaders of families, right?
[02:00] Just in your own family, in your own home. A lot of these are going to be relevant for you. Now in my coaching program, reveal your path. We have a leadership core values discovery exercise. This is a written exercise that we walk our clients through in order to help them determine their leadership core values.
[02:19] Like what is it that really drives me as a leader? It gives them a framework. Through which to make leadership decisions. I know the root crux of this is to identify leaders who they do and who they don't want to emulate. And so what are some leaders who you, let's say, don't want to emulate and why? Like, what is it about the ones where you.
[02:39] Don't want to emulate them because you don't like, how it was to work for them, or you can envision what it might be like to work for that individual. Let me give you three examples of how not to build a resilient team. Number one, success is all about me as the leader, right? I'm not a servant leader.
[02:58] Go back to episode 278. I interviewed Ken Blanchard, Ken Blanchard, the original influencer. I mean, this guy's been an influencer for decades and decades, long before social media. You wrote the one minute manager, a guy's just, he's a legend in his own time. So Ken Blanchard episode 278, we talk a lot about servant leadership.
[03:16] Another example would be, you know, as a leader who sees people as machines and widgets just to be pushed, we're working with an amazing company right now, CEO, who sees his people as his greatest asset. He invests so much in his people, even in hard times. When markets are tough, he will bring us in to invest in his people and to support his people and to love his people and to help his people because he knows that the success of the business depends on his people and he cares, he actually cares about these humans go figure.
[03:46] This is a great leader of an amazing company. That's growing like crazy and doing really, really cool things. And then the third example here would be. A leader who makes just unilateral decisions, doesn't involve others, doesn't take anything into consideration other than themselves and what they think and what they feel.
[04:03] Now, sometimes leaders have to do that, but in general, as a rule of thumb, when you want to have a resilient team, a team that is cohesive and communicates well and collaborates, there's. You know, a lot of people involved in decision making obviously that can go too far, right? There's a dichotomy here. You can go from one end of the scale where you have too many cooks in the kitchen to the other end of the scale of unilateral decision making, and it's going to vary depending on the decision and the situation, but bringing other people into the decision making process.
[04:32] Quick interruption. If you like what you're hearing here and you want to learn how you can implement this into your life, just go to JimHarshawJr.com/apply to see how you can get a free one on one coaching session with me. That's JimHarshawJr.com/apply. Now back to the show. Now, I told you I was going to give you nine ways to build a resilient team.
[04:55] All right, here's the first one. Number one, having a shared vision and a shared purpose. When you do this, it gives people ownership. A team that understands and believes in this shared vision is more likely to be more cohesive. They're going to get more done. They're going to show up early. They're going to stay late.
[05:11] They're going to be more resilient. They're going to buy into the big challenges. You might have the be hags, the big, hairy, audacious goals, John F. Kennedy, when he said by the end of the decade, we're going to put a man on the moon. There was a shared vision, a shared purpose there. America felt that, and we marshaled the resources.
[05:28] To actually pull that off. This was a beehive. This was crazy. This was huge. Episode 348. I go deeper into this three 48. I'm going to, I'm going to reference a couple more episodes throughout this episode. So if you want to grab the action plan, make sure you grab that. And, um, we'll have a list of those episodes in there, but three 48, I talk about the beehive, the big, hairy audacious goal, but you have to have a shared vision and a shared purpose to actually build a resilient team, have a team.
[05:55] Be willing to do something huge and amazing and scary deal with the setbacks deal with the failures along the way. 9 11 was another time. Listen, the whole country red and blue doesn't matter what side of the aisle you're on. We believed in a shared vision and a shared purpose behind defending our country.
[06:13] And it was a pretty amazing time in our country to see people really just put down their colors and all become Americans. And what about your family, your organization, give your people ownership of the vision and of the purpose, and even of the rules that you make, and maybe your core values and your mission statement or purpose.
[06:31] They're already said they've already been written. Not everyone can have a voice in doing that. Obviously, if. They, you know, you hire somebody and you know, you can't rewrite your mission and vision and values just because you hired them, but you can ask them. How should we live this out? How does this align with, with who you are personally?
[06:49] How are we doing at it? what ideas do you have? So you can get people to buy in by giving them ownership, having discussions around that shared vision and that shared purpose. But again, like I said, sometimes it's just inherent when there's this BAG, when there's something like a crisis that happens, right?
[07:07] So. Resilient teams have a shared vision and purpose. Number two, open communication, you know, a culture where the team members feel safe to express their concerns or share ideas or, you know, admit mistakes that they make that fosters the resilience. It fosters collaboration and teamwork and trust having that open communication.
[07:29] Here's an example. At every Pathfinder coaches meeting, whenever I'm bringing my team of coaches together through these are Pathfinder coaches, either the coaches of our program, Reveal Your Path, I'm always soliciting feedback from our coaches. They're amazing. They've all these great ideas and we, as much as I can, I take those ideas and put those into place and help execute those.
[07:51] So for example, one of our coaches, Cody. By the way, Cody was actually a guest on the podcast as well. Episode three 64, three, six, four actually is a really high. One of our most highly listened to episodes. I mean, people really enjoyed that episode. He's got an amazing story of resilience himself through his upbringing and where he's come from and where he's gotten to.
[08:12] He's just an amazing individual, but he suggested one thing, you know, we have these mastermind groups, these individual small groups where we put people in, we have seven different groups and he said, well, sometimes people can't make the call. You know, they have a work conflict or something like that.
[08:25] What if we have a makeup on Saturday mornings? I'm like, that's a great idea. I'd never thought of that, but we're going to do it. And this kind of open communication fosters a culture of resilience and adaptability and collaboration and trust. So that's number two, open communication. Number three is this having regular team building activities, like people.
[08:48] Our people, they're not machines. They're not widgets. You have to bring people together and have them do team building activities. My son's cross country team. They're one of the best in the state of Virginia. And every year they go away for two nights at the beginning of the season. They do this retreat.
[09:06] It's a team retreat. They spend two nights up in the mountains and, you know, they do silly things. They do skits and they do some training, of course, but it's really about team. It's Bob. Bringing the team together, team building, building friendships, building relationships, and this guy, the coach, he values team development.
[09:25] He values people. And he knows that when you bring people together, even in, or maybe especially in an individual sport, like cross country, the team gets better. They become friends and there's relationships develop and they're cheering each other on. Hey, I'm not varsity for this meet. I'm still going to cheer you on.
[09:44] That doesn't happen with. There's not a resilient team. If there's not relationships, if there's not trust, I mean, this team, when, when you go through the ups and the downs, like they're supporting each other, they're cheering each other on. They're helping each other. If one of them fails and the other one succeeds, they're cheering on the one who succeeds.
[10:01] And the one who succeeded is given a pat on the back to the one who failed. This is a cohesive team. Team, it doesn't just happen. You can't just say, Oh, my team is not cohesive. They're not collaborating. No, you as the leader or somebody who has influence upon this team, whether you're in a leadership role or not, you have to take ownership for that.
[10:21] How can you make this a resilient team? What is your role in making this a resilient team? What is your role in bringing team building activities into the organization? I'm working with a startup in San Diego and they're mostly remote. As a result, the relationships are not really strong. People aren't in person very much.
[10:42] And they're bringing me in to do a workshop. We're going to be talking about teamwork and communication and collaboration. We're bringing people together. They're going to do this really fun team building event. It's like. Flying airplanes and stuff in the morning. It's going to be really cool. And here you have a leader, a CEO and a leadership team who believe in the value of people.
[11:02] And that's what we're doing. We're bringing people together to build relationships, develop trust and take a company. Who's absolutely amazing at what they do. And their surveys even show that people are like bought into their mission and we're going to make them even stronger, even more powerful and even more resilient as a team.
[11:20] All right. So that's number three, doing regular team building activities. Number four, investing in continuous training. You have to ensure that your team is constantly upgrading their skill sets and their knowledge and their abilities so that they become resilient. Right. Whenever there are changes that come and we're seeing them by the day now with technology and the economy, like there's constantly change happening.
[11:48] And if you're not prepared for that, you're not going to be a resilient team. I think back to my life as a college wrestler, continuous training. And when you're an athlete, we know that's necessary, but why not in your career? You should be always training, always looking to grow, always looking to get better in that as a team.
[12:05] Makes you stronger. You know, when I was working at the university of Virginia, there were continuous opportunities to learn. Now you can't spend all of your days in workshops and going to conferences and that sort of thing, but it should be part of your regular routine. I was surprised at how many people did not take advantage.
[12:21] I didn't even know about these. Professional development opportunities until probably five years after I started working there and I really, I learned there was all these great opportunities to learn. There were these experts running these classes and courses and programs, and I dove in and it was just, it made me a better team member.
[12:39] It gave me the skills that I needed to execute. It also helped me develop leadership skills. And you should be doing the same. I'm in a mastermind group right now with other amazing entrepreneurs. I'm continuously learning. And by doing that, I'm positioning myself and my business. To be resilient and to be effective long term.
[12:57] All right. So that's number four, investing in continuous training. Number five, empower others to make decisions. And when people feel like they have agency, when they have influence, they take ownership of outcomes. They take ownership of success and failures. they bounce back faster after setbacks, setbacks are going to happen.
[13:19] Failure is going to happen. You want to build a resilient team. Let people make decisions. When you let them make decisions, they have ownership. My assistant, Pauline and Michael, they're working on this episode right now. They're doing the edits. I trust them. They're good at what they do. They make decisions for me.
[13:36] When you do that, when you empower others to make decisions, you can be more resilient. People take ownership. And how can you do that in your organization? Again, whether you're in a leadership role or you're, you're, you're aspiring to a leadership role, or maybe you don't have that leadership title, but how can you empower others to make decisions?
[13:54] All right. That's number five, number six, celebrate small wins, recognize and celebrate the achievements of others. It boosts morale. it reminds people that they're actually capable of doing good things and finding success. Now, this is going to be especially important during hard times, like when you need a resilient team and you want people to bounce back, point out the things that are working well, point out the things that they're doing well in the book, how to win friends and influence people, which if you're watching this on YouTube is right up behind me, it's, it's one of my favorite books of all time.
[14:27] It talks about catching people in the act of doing something right. I used to think that you wouldn't want to do that because then people like, Oh, well, if I did that small thing, right? I really don't need to aspire to anything bigger. I'm going to rest on my laurels. It's actually the opposite. When you recognize the small wins and the small achievements, people tend to be.
[14:44] You know, more excited to do bigger and better things. But if you don't recognize those, if you don't point those out, people go, Oh, well, I'm not appreciated here. I guess I'm not doing a good job at what I'm trying to do here. No, recognize those small wins, catch people in the act of doing things. Well, they're going to want to live up to that and even greater things.
[15:02] Everybody wants to be good at what they do. You want to be good at what you do. I want to be good at what I do. Our jobs are not just about making money. It feels good to be good at what I'm doing. So celebrate those small wins, right? That's number six, number seven feedback loops. Regular feedback helps people when you're an athlete, when you're in sports, you get regular feedback, wins and losses.
[15:28] I used to be an avid whitewater kayaker and he used to run the big stuff, the class five whitewater and man, you got instant feedback. If you were upside down in your kayak and you couldn't breathe, that was instant feedback because you made a wrong move. you were off balance. You didn't hit your line and the result can be.
[15:48] well, you know, the extreme result can be death, but it's instant feedback. You get better quickly. You know exactly what, when you went wrong, where you went wrong and what you did wrong. We don't always have that in our organizations. If you want people to be resilient, if you want them to be able to, achieve at a high level and learn and grow, you have to provide feedback.
[16:12] You get that in sports. You don't always automatically get that. Within an organization or on a team, there's a concept called the OODA loop. If you've heard of this before, O O D A OODA loop, it stands for observe, orient, decide, and act observe, orient, decide, act. And this is developed by air force. Colonel John Boyd.
[16:34] This is back in the 1950s and the 1960s. He was an amazing pilot and then he became, he's considered one of the greatest. Military strategists of, of modern times. He developed this OODA loop philosophy. So what does this mean? OODA loop. O is for observe. It's what are the challenge, like observe, like look around you, like right now in your organization, look around you.
[16:57] What are the challenges? What's going well, what's not going well. This is the productive pause. If you've heard me talk about the productive pause before, this is the productive pause step. Stop, observe, ask questions. Second is orient. Okay. What resources do we need to mobilize? What are the different avenues we could go down?
[17:16] What are the strategies, the different potential strategies that we could employ here, and then D is for decide, like make a choice, decide, pick a strategy, go for it, and then a is take action, right? Once you take action, you're going to learn, you're going to have success. You're going to have failure. And then you go back to observe again.
[17:36] All right. Observe what worked, what didn't work. What are the challenges we're facing? What are the outcomes we want? Okay. So you start this loop over again, the OODA loop. This is feedback. You can't just listen to something like this and say, Oh, that sounds like a good idea. No, like actually do it, actually sit down, do some journaling on it.
[17:56] Maybe have a meeting, a team meeting, have a discussion on it, but actually employ this technique, right? Feedback loops is number seven. Number eight, adaptability. Creating a culture of adaptability. I mean, look around you, things are changing. The economy is changing. Technology is changing. Generational gaps are changing.
[18:16] My wife and I were just talking this morning about how, you know, kids in this generation, we know this, right? Like I'm on my phone way more than I should be too, but. You look at kids standing around waiting to be picked up from practice, or, you know, I picked up my daughter and some of her friends from a Bible study a couple of days ago and dropped them off at school.
[18:34] They were all on their phones the entire time. I was like in the van with them and they're kind of talking a little bit with each other, but they're on their phones as opposed to, you know, and I kind of look back on this and go, okay, I probably should have had them all just put their phones down. I think I'm going to do that next time.
[18:47] Because they're not engaging in the same way that you and I engage when we were that age, the way we engage with our friends. So things are changing. Like we can't blame these kids for having the technology and for it being there. When you're bringing them into your workplace, you have to be adaptable.
[19:07] You have to understand that they are a different generation than your generation, than my generation. Technology is changing. AI, AI is here. If you're not learning about AI, you're behind. If you're not learning what it's about, how to use it, how you can employ it in your work, or, or at least understand having a general understanding of it, rather than just sort of the fear mongering that's out there in the media, like actually learning about it and dabbling and using it, then you're going to be left behind.
[19:34] You're not going to be adaptable. Even my kids, like. You know, teachers are afraid of this. I know, but like, listen, we're not going to unwind this and not have AI. We are going to have it. And it's going to be stronger and more powerful shoot from the time I record this to the time it publishes. It's good.
[19:49] It's good. There's going to be developments in us. It is changing so fast. You have to understand. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about creating a job descriptor. He's creating a new role within his organization. And I was talking about how just do a brain dump about all the stuff that you have in your head about what this role might look like and just dump it into chat GPT and, and it'll spit out maybe 50%, maybe 75%, maybe 90 percent done for you job description.
[20:16] It'll be there and you can add, you know, adapt it to your, to your liking and, you know, put your touch on it, but you can use these tools to help you. You can get ahead with these kinds of tools. I'm always surprised at how many people aren't, you know, adapting and learning about the technology that's out there.
[20:31] And listen, I know we're always, we're all busy. We're all head down, but we have to be adaptable. Things are changing. And if you're not adapting this stuff or adopting this stuff or learning about this stuff, make sure somebody in your organization is, or sit down with somebody who is, maybe you're not interested in it.
[20:50] It's just kind of not your jam. Find somebody who's it is. Just go out and have coffee with them, go connect with them, sit down, have a meeting, have somebody show you know, watch a YouTube video on the thing. We have to be adaptable. We have to understand that there's a world that's coming that is different than the world that was behind.
[21:10] And if I was recording this podcast episode, if there were podcasts in, I don't know, 1980. It would be the same thing recording it in 1950. It would be the same thing. The world is changing ahead and it's going to be different than the world behind. We have to understand that we have to be adaptable. All right.
[21:31] So that's number eight, number nine, you know, I'm not going to get through an episode without talking about failures, acknowledging and learning from failures. This is number nine, instead of punishing mistakes, look at them as learning opportunities. These are learning opportunities. This approach, it encourages a growth mindset.
[21:49] It helps people understand like, okay, you know, I can try things. I can learn, I can fail and learn from that and get better from that. Elon Musk, I like to use him as an example, and I know he's a controversial polarizing figure. Let's put that aside for now. This guy just in SpaceX alone, the amount of failures, the number of failures, number of goals that are, were set that they felt far short of both in, you know, they, they overshot the timeframe.
[22:14] They overshot the budget rockets exploded and failed an incredible amount of failures. It's necessary. To get to where they're at now and where we're going, it's bonkers. It requires failure, right? And failure will happen on your team and in your organization. If you want to build a resilient team, acknowledge the failures, learn from the failures, my failure in my software startup years ago.
[22:42] I learned a ton from it. And to be honest, at that moment, I didn't realize that I learned a whole lot. I actually thought at the time that I was going to be no good at being an entrepreneur, and this is not the thing for me when actually I was now more positioned to be an even better entrepreneur. I had a successful business that I sold prior to that.
[23:00] This one failed and I learned from it. It was a software company. I was an environmental science major and I was a wrestling coach. I didn't know the first thing about developing software. But I learned some, I got my MBA in software development through that and building a technology company and raising angel capital and starting a business, in that realm, which was totally different than my prior business, which was like a home services kind of business.
[23:23] So I learned that failure positioned me for success and it will position you and your team for success. All right. So let's go through these again, really quickly at a high level. Number one, if you want to build a resilient team, have a shared vision and purpose. Number two, open communication. Number three, regular team building activities, invest in people.
[23:44] Number four, investing in continuous training. Number five, empowering decision making. Number six. Celebrating the small wins. Number seven, feedback loops, the OODA loop and otherwise. Number eight, fostering a culture of adaptability. Number nine, acknowledging and learning from failures. All right. I gave you nine ways to build and develop a resilient team.
[24:07] Again, whether you're in a leadership role or you aspire to be in a leadership role, take action on these. Listen, you don't have to take action on all nine. If you got just one thing, one podcast episode, that was all worth it. But I want you to now. Go and take action. Good luck. Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your life, let's talk.
[24:29] You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar at JimHarshawJr.com/apply, where you can sign up for a free one time coaching call directly with me. And don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action. And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more often.
[24:51] You would totally make my day. If you give me a rating and review, those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience. Just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure, select it, and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast, a rating and a review.
[25:10] Now, I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck. And thanks for listening.
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