Ray Parkar

An unstructured collection of thoughts about building products.

Building teams is hard, start with trust.

Building teams is really hard.

I’ve been lucky to have been part of and lead some wonderful teams over the years, and one thing has been a common thread throughout all of them. Trust.

The best teams I’ve ever had the pleasure of leading or being a part of have had this key trait between everyone in them, trust is a key part of team building.

As a leader of a team, your success is directly linked to that of your team, you all succeed as one. One of the key things I try to do is take accountability while giving authority to the team, the best leaders know exactly when to get out of the way of their team and the individuals in it.

Giving your team the flexibility to flex their abilities helps bring the team together and gives those people the authority to really make decisions they’re uniquely skilled to make, as an example, why would I ever look to solely make a decision on what database we should use when I have someone in the team who lives and breathes database technology, it would be a criminal waste of that person’s skillset.

The key here is to create a safe environment where people can offer opinion and speak their minds, including challenging each other while remaining focused on the best possible solution / outcome. The more this is encouraged, the more it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A safe environemnt is one where teams will be more daring and encouraged to have real conversations about the problems you all face, and ultimately tackle them together.

Build trust within your teams, allow people to be heard and learn about how each person works best individually. Give them all the space to bring their ideas to the table, and create a safe space for open discussion. Those key things will help create a team that performs far above the sum of their parts.