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How to Become a Successful Builder #5 – Create Great Teams

If only I could get some decent builders!!

Builder. Are you frustrated because you don't have great teams?

How many times have I heard that! The truth is that if you’re going to get off the tools and build your building business you do need better team members.

“Well that’s pretty obvious,” I hear you say. “But I can’t leave my team to do the renovation project by themselves. It’d be a disaster!”

But you see, the thing is that unless you master the tools of creating great teams you will never gain the time you need to focus and grow a successful building business.

So, in this article I’ll outline three things that highly successful builders know about building great teams. Would that be good? Then let’s get to it.

1          Highly Successful Builders Give Strong Leadership

A team needs a strong leader if it is to be successful. There is no question that Alex Ferguson is leader of the Manchester United Football Team. What he says goes. When he says, “There will be no tattoos visible on players on the field,” there are no tattoos visible on players on the field. End of story!

So, “Who leads your team?” Someone does. And if it’s not you then it will be someone else calling the tune and setting the culture. Now, I’m certain that you DON’T want that. So…learn the tools of becoming a strong leader.

 2          Highly Successful Builders Set Clear Goals

Master the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Builders #5 – Create Great Teams

Every team needs to know where it is heading and what it is about, if it is to achieve the results you desire. And every member needs individual goals. It’s not good enough just to let them know that the goal is to complete a renovation. Your team leader needs to know how long they have for the job and to what standard you expect it completed. And each member needs to know the goals for their sections.

E.g. a member thinks that taking 4 hours to hang a door is OK because it’s done perfectly!! But can you afford that expenditure? Unless you clarify the goal, they will operate according to their own expectations. So…learn how to set clear laws.

3          Highly Successful Builders Make the Rules for their Game

Master the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Builders #5 – Create Great Teams

I’m not referring to the local government by-laws, building codes and association rules. Rather, I’m talking about the internal rules that determine the culture and therefore the effectiveness of your team and your company.

Highly successful builders take setting these rules seriously, and are prepared to enforce them at all costs, because ultimately these rules determine the culture and the culture determines the effectiveness of a company. Remember companies don’t win…cultures do.

So, if a team member chooses not to comply with the company rules they are choosing to exit the team. So, fire them! E.g. you have a company rule that requires team members to wear the specified company apparel when on the job. And you are prepared to enforce the rule, so that when a team member tells you he won’t do so, you have to let them go. They’re firing themselves! Isn’t that great! By doing so, you’re raising the standard, expecting cooperation and getting it from the right people.

Next time you are about to rage about your team members, re-direct the energy to thinking about how you will create better teams.


So, how is it for you in your building business? Are you attracting great team members? Are you getting the team members you deserve?

I’d love to hear your stories

Post your stories/comments below

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2 Responses to How to Become a Successful Builder #5 – Create Great Teams

  1. Glen March 19, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Well that was good timing… I have been having the very same problems you have just described and am looking at putting into place some tougher guidelines for the guys to follow. I imagine there will be a few casualties along the way but thats life isn’t it.

    Thanks for the helpful info

    • Graeme March 22, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      You are welcome Glen.

      Remember that as the leader you set the standards and the culture. In so doing you ensure that the whole team benefits – from happy customers who give great testimonials and good referrals etc. So, if a team member does not wish to step up then allowing them to operate at a lower level threatens the success of the whole team. THEY are the ones making the choice. So don’t feel bad in any way at all when you “help them on their way” to finding another team. Cheers

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