Teamwork – Building Teams That Work.

by Patrick Liew on July 19, 2012

In 1988, I was the leader of  a non-governmental organisation that was affectionately known as the SWAP Club. It was formed to inspire members to achieve success in life and to give back to society.

We called ourselves SWAPers and we  were a very enthusiastic bunch of people, highly charged up to do well in life.

We met both formally and informally to help each other improve and achieve better results in life. At the same time, we invited experts from both Singapore and overseas to train and guide us.

As a result of SWAP, I have fostered many positive relationships which lasted till today. Many of the members have gone on to do well in their chosen fields of work.

As I looked back on those happy times when we achieved many great results, it affirmed my belief that leadership and teamwork are two key ingredients to build a great organisation.

Leading and building a team is a basic building block to achieving success in life.

There are five key dimensions that can help you build a great team.

T – Team

Teamwork starts with the people in the team. It is the people in the team that ultimately makes the team work.

Many people use the acronym, T.E.A.M to stand for Together, Everybody Achieve More. It should stand for Teams that are Effective Achieve More.

To develop an effective team, we need to seek out the right talent to do the right job and at the right time.

The emphasis is on seeking the right talent – not the best talent. The best talent may not fit well with the job and the team.

In addition, we need to ensure the team members are enabled and empowered to perform their duties. We need to help them improve continuously so that they can get better results.

E – End Point

In my Company, we have a saying, “Results is the true measurement of life.”

An effective team must know what win-win results they seek to achieve for their team and individual members. There may be a need to subordinate personal interests for the interests of the team and organization.

An effective team begins with the plan for achieving results. And results define the effectiveness of a team.

If we walk on the same footprints, we will reach the same destination. To change the destination, we need to find or create a better track to it.

To get better results, we must be committed to a process of continuous and never-ending learning, improvement and growth.

A – Alignment

To ensure the team reaches the end point productively, every member must support and be aligned to the team’s philosophy. It includes the team’s mission, vision, values, and operational system.

The team must be committed to effective formal and informal communications to ensure that they are working towards the desired objectives.

M – Motivation

As servant-leaders, we must always remember that every member in our team is a unique individual with gifts and talents. If we don’t have a heart to love and serve them, we do not qualify and deserve to be a leader.

The focus of talent management is to bring out the best from them and help them enjoy the best of life.

To do that, we need to constantly inspire and motivate them to love their tasks and do them to the best of their abilities. We need to empathize with them and help them find meaning, excitement and fulfillment in their work.

S – System

To ensure that we have the most effective team, the team members must not only be in alignment and be totally motivated, there must also be systems to help lead and manage them. The quality of our systems will determine our team’s speed of growth and achievements.

All organizations succeed or fail primarily because of leadership. Nothing great is achieved without a great leader and his ability to build a great team.

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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