Author: Stephanie O’Brien


“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”

– Michael E. Gerber, author and business expert


When building a team that is going to:
– drive the results you want;
– nurture dedication and self-reliance:
– maintain integrity and perseverance… 

There are a few (six to be exact) steps you need to follow to get your team equipped and ready to crush it. 



There are many types of leadership out there, and the simple use of the word “leadership” is thrown around so often it may have reached semantic satiation without offering a way to actually display functional leadership. Short and sweet, what we are looking for here, is a leader (boss) who:

  • demonstrates integrity: keeps their word, takes action, follows through;
  • does not micro manage;
  • is curious, open and listens to employees ideas and opinions;
  • leaves their ego at the door, has a team mentality that gains them trust.

Forbes said Team Building is the most important investment you’ll ever make. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line.



This part is crucial not only in achieving your goals but also in keeping the team motivated.

In terms of setting goals, ask your team ‘Where are we going’. Discuss. Ensure that everyone on the team takes part in getting clear on what the goal is, maintaining your leadership skills throughout (remaining humble, open minded, listening). Ensure your girl observes “SMART” (see image below).

Working towards a clear goal helps people stay motivated. The joy and pride they feel from the accomplishment supersedes the fleeting feelings of praise for an aimless job well done. It is likely that this pride and joy that comes from their accomplishment will be addictive to your employee(s) and spur continuous motivation and productivity.

Action Edge’s Growth Club is the perfect place for aligning an organization through our customized OKR process. 




Employees also need to understand the structure that governs the way the owner conducts the business. Structure and rules that must be relayed to employees, to maintain success,/ are as follows:

  • company culture and values;
  • defined individual roles and responsibilities (in the form of positional contracts, and operations & procedures manuals)


By having this knowledge, it gives them individualistic power and a feeling of rapport to the company.



Up to this point, you have maintained your integrity, stayed true to your word, and you and your team have come up with a goal. Amazing! Now you need to come up with a foolproof action plan, and get to work. Actions speak louder than words.

The action plan identifies how the goals will be achieved, make sure to:

  • assign ownership of tasks;
  • identify what resources are required
  • set timelines for when tasks should be completed, and;
  • provide measurement details of the current status of the tasks over the defined time periods.


Do not be afraid to delegate, people respond well to clear instructions, especially when there is trust and they can come to you if they have any questions.



Encourage risk taking behaviour. This may sound counterintuitive, but to build your company, grow and prosper, you are going to need to take chances (risks) on the unknown. Diversify, push boundaries, innovate. You do not want your company, or employees, to become complacent.


You have taken the time to educate your employees about the structure of the company, they should be now encouraged to innovate within those defined boundaries. For people to maximize their potential, they need to be allowed to try new things and make mistakes. Winning teams are willing to stretch their limits. Fear of mistakes and failure must go. You need to learn to welcome multiple solutions to challenges and encourage lateral thinking. When you and your team start to embrace risk, you’ll be rewarded with synergy in your team and your business. 




Be sure to include every member of your team. You need to take the lead here, by providing 100 percent inclusion. Get to know your staff, appreciate  their different personality traits and communication styles. Introvert or extrovert? Outspoken or reticent?

If you include and involve the entire team, each member should feel seen and useful, thus giving you 100% participation back. It is possible this will not be the case with some employees, some may need to change radically or leave – which is okay. No hard feelings, but you have a business to run and it is in your best interest to have a team that supports you as much as you support them. 



Create and consistently use a forum for open and honest communication. A WIFLE is a free and unfettered time for a team member to express whatever is on their mind. It is a safe space that creates trust and openness. The WIFLE stands for “what I feel like expressing’ and during the WIFLE no one can interrupt the speaker and every team member gets to WIFLE before the meeting actually starts. This opening moment reinforces a culture of open and candid communication. The WIFLE also serves as a vehicle to resolve conflicts within teams. Using a WIFLE to establish rules of engagement and clearly stating concerns, yet offering a neutral and non-confrontational tone, helps team members work through issues without having to escalate the conflict.


Steff O’Brien is the #1 Canadian ActionCOACH 

A magnetic presence who leads from the front lines, Stephanie is an accomplished keynote speaker, facilitator, CEO, business owner, event organizer, influencer, community ambassador, and investor.

Book a complimentary 20 min business audit with Stephanie HERE