10 Ways Leaders Can Build a Committed Team

build committed team

Everyone wants a committed team, and lots of folks talk about having one. But let’s be honest — real-deal commitment is pretty rare. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of teams out there that comply with what their boss tells them to do, or what they understand the organization’s direction to be; but compliance isn’t the same as commitment. Commitment is that “Let’s lock arms and charge this hill together, come hell or whatever” kind of attitude. Compliance is more like “I’ll do whatever you say; just tell me what to do.”

With that in mind, here are a few tips for those wanting to work toward building a committed team.

Leaders can build a committed team by encouraging humanness

Humanness is foundational to everything a team needs to perform at a high level. It’s the bedrock upon which real, meaningful trust is built, and it’s the connective tissue that binds people together in authentic ways. When people are able to be themselves together — when they’re able to be real, imperfect, flawed humans — they’re then able to work together, help each other, serve each other, and commit to each other in ways they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Humanness is foundational to real, meaningful trust. #leadership #companyculture Click To Tweet

Leaders can build a committed team by being vulnerable

Closely related to the above, the idea here is that as leaders, it’s incumbent upon us to be vulnerable with our teams if we want that to be the norm within the team. That’s important because vulnerability, like humanness, forms a bond between people. It’s another ingredient that helps build commitment on a team, and as leaders, we have to go first. If we’re not willing to be take the first step to be vulnerable, we can’t expect anyone else to either.

Real-deal commitment comes from real-deal vulnerability on a team. #leadership #companyculture Click To Tweet

Leaders can build a committed team by picking healthy fights

Sounds odd, I know; but teams that are human and real with each other are going to disagree about stuff; and that’s actually really, really, really good. Get this — teams need to have disagreements about ideas, strategies, and so on. That’s how teams grow and ideas become better ideas. And it’s only after people have engaged in that sort of unfiltered, honest, passionate discussion that they can lock arms and fully commit to a direction together, regardless of if that direction happened to be the particular one that any one of them was advocating for individually.

True commitment usually comes on the other side of healthy conflict around ideas. #leadership… Click To Tweet

Leaders can build a committed team by getting excited about each others’ successes

This one’s tough for the egomaniacs, but it’s essential for building commitment. The more people feel appreciated by each other, the more feelings of mutual commitment to each other and the team will likely grow. The egomaniacs, of course, will continue to be committed to themselves. (sigh)

Leaders can build a committed team by helping each other get better

Teams that help each other, support each other, coach each other, develop each other, and just do everything they can to lift each other up will see their team grow more and more committed. Why? Because they’re mutually invested in each other and the team as a whole to a greater and greater degree.

When teammates help each other grow, it builds commitment. #leadership #companyculture Click To Tweet

Leaders can build a committed team by making sure everyone knows what success looks like

Want your team to stay committed? Keep their eyes on the goal. Teams need to know what success looks like. That’s part of what they’re committed to, right? They’re committed to each other, and they’re committed to accomplishing things together.

Leaders can build a committed team by celebrating progress

It’s not always going to be easy as your team works together toward its goals. Sometimes it’s going to be downright hard. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate successes you experience along the way. It helps the team stay focused, stay positive, and stay committed.

Leaders can build a committed team by connecting the work to its broader purpose

People commit to a purpose or cause a lot easier than they commit to a project plan. Make the connection between the work and the broader purpose very clear.

Connecting people's work to its broader purpose breeds commitment. #leadership #companyculture Click To Tweet

Leaders can build a committed team by building community

Remember, our teams are clumps of humans. As humans, we’re wired to live and work in community. In fact, the two words — commitment and community — share the same Latin family tree, with the Latin com- meaning “together” and obviously forming the first part of the word community. (Incidentally, the Latin com- and mittere, which means “to send or put” gives us the Latin word committere, which has the connotation of uniting, bringing together, combining, connecting, and uniting. Pretty cool, no?)

The point is, a community is a group of people who are committed to each other; so as we build and strengthen the sense of community on our teams, that commitment is likely to grow as well.

Leaders can build a committed team by being committed to serving

Leaders serve first. Cultivate an environment that is antithetical to the dog-eat-dog corporate world to which many are accustomed. As leaders, we need to be others-oriented. Set the tone for the team in that way. Imagine how awesome it would be if everyone on your team was focused on serving their teammates? Talk about committed…

Want a committed team? Then start with cultivating an environment of humanness and build from there. Have any ideas to add? Let’s hear ’em! Jot them in the comments below. To learn more about the Mojo Method of building high-performing, committed teams, click here!

3 thoughts on “10 Ways Leaders Can Build a Committed Team

  • Matt,

    Great post. I would add, “leaders can build a committed team by having fun.” Take walks together, eat out, play games, etc. It’s not work if you’re having fun and you as a leader set that tone.

    Mark

  • I enjoyed looking through your articles on humanity and vulnerability as staples of leadership. Humanity in the essence of accepting imperfection, I understand. You will make mistakes and need to take responsibility for not only your mistakes but those of your team. If you are not making mistakes you are not pushing your boundaries. However, vulnerability is a little more difficult to grasp. I believe that, as a leader, every decision that is made needs a sound basis of facts to back it up. A defense. You should encourage your team to challenge decisions, but they should also know that you have solid reasoning behind each decision.

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