No team can do it alone, whether you’re conducting a mission or creating new products. In fact, when a team authentically proves how much they care about other people, they experience an exponential return on their efforts, which I call the 10x advantage.

Unstoppable teams are built on relationships, but not only the expected relationships with those directly in your line of sight and authority. A team’s success depends on expanding the definition of a team to include not just employees, but also three other groups of stakeholders: customers, contributors, and the community.

The rules for building unstoppable teams are agnostic to industry, business type, profit focus or community. If there are humans involved, then the rules for building unstoppable teams apply—period. In a previous post, I talked about the three lines of leadership for influencing others to come together and do something greater than can be done by one individual. The three lines of leadership are:

  1. You
  2. Directs (reports)
  3. Indirects (Contributors, Customers, Community)

Most leaders think only about leading “their” direct reports and disregard the first and third lines. In marketing terms, think of it like this: Your brand is a reflection of your culture; your culture is a reflection of your team(s); and your teams are a reflection of YOU. It starts with you—your actions and your focus will be what gets mirrored by your teammates.

Many teams become one-dimensional and imbalanced when the relationship with one constituency, usually the customer, is emphasized over others. The problem with this “customer is everything” approach is that it disregards 67 percent of your other key teammates, who can help you get more customers.

The three constituents outside your organization—customers, contributors, and community—can become a force multiplier for your team’s efforts. And when you bring them into the CARE loop, you’ll see what it’s like to be part of something bigger and better than any one team can achieve on its own.

When others feel a connection to your team, even if they may not be the ones swinging the hammers, pulling the triggers, or making the sales, what do you think happens? They willingly work harder to help you succeed because they know that when you succeed, they succeed—because they’re a part of the team.

When these external teammates feel a part of your team, they will not let you fail. Activating this 10x advantage takes an all-hands-on-deck approach by first making everyone aware that the success of the team hinges on others who support it. Then it takes consistent and intentional outreach to connect, achieve, respect and empower them just as you have done with your own teammates.

Look closely at the best companies, and you can see the CARE loop in action. In many cases, a company’s competitive advantage comes from making it easy for their constituents—employees, business partners, vendors, suppliers, customers, and communities—to connect, achieve, respect, and empower each other.

Never forget the single most important action in leading: caring. Teddy Roosevelt said it best: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” The same rules of caring apply for building a brand or an unstoppable team—you must prove how much you care about your teammates, your customers and your communities in which you serve.

Learn More About Building Unstoppable Teams
Unstoppable Teams: The Four Essential Actions of High-Performance Leadership
Unstoppable Teams is the handbook for how to build care-based teams that will push people to achieve more than they ever thought possible.