Keys to Building a Successful Team, Why Teamwork Matters
05/15/23 | Thought Leadership
By Robert Maddux, KDC Senior Vice President for Design & Construction
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
~Phil Jackson, legendary former coach of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers
Overseeing the construction of a project the size and scope of something like the 44-acre Hub RTP in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park can be a complicated task with multiple moving parts. However, it is manageable when you have a team that works together toward a common goal.
Hub RTP, which KDC is developing in partnership with the Research Triangle Foundation, is the ultimate downtown-style mixed-use project. It will be home to up to 1 million square feet of Class A office space, 1,200 luxury multifamily units, 75,000 square feet of retail and a 425-key hotel.
My involvement with the HUB RTP project began about midway through the construction phase. The team was already in place, and they were in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with the frustrations that came during those challenging days.
Mitigating those tough circumstances required leadership. This reminds me of a quote from the 10-time NCAA national champion and iconic former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden who said “Effective leadership means having a lot of people working toward a common goal. And when you have that with no one caring who gets the credit, you're going to accomplish a lot. If you have those just wanting the credit for themselves, you're not going to get as much accomplished.”
This illustrates KDC’s goal, as we want to create a team atmosphere that helps projects move smoothly from conception to completion. Toward that objective, there are three key steps when it comes to creating a successful team.
The first step is building trust. At KDC, we believe in treating others the way we want to be treated. Mutual respect and rolling up our sleeves and working through a project’s details together is a great way to earn that trust and help the team gel.
The next component is communication. We work to ensure we communicate openly and often. While we use texts, emails or videoconferencing, meeting face-to-face is always preferred. Being across the table from one another takes more time but is truly worth it. While tasks can be resolved via a video conference, the relationships that develop by being in person improve the team.
The last crucial trait is commitment. To be successful, the team needs to be committed to working safely while building a high-quality end result on schedule. That level of commitment shows up in little things, from meeting deadlines to accomplishing exemplary pre-task planning. At KDC, we strive to do everything at a high level. This effort sets a tone for the project and establishes a standard for commitment.
Developing large projects is the ultimate team endeavor. It takes many people and a variety of expertise. If you want to be a good leader, check your ego at the door and build a great team.