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This Four-Part Formula Can Help You Build Great Teams Teams need the right set of conditions, created by great leaders.

By Mike Michalowicz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Compassionate Eye Foundation/Gary Burchell | Getty Images

I hate to break it to you: There is no magic wand for the teambuilding process.

Sometimes we try to fix our staffing issues by making "one key shift," but humans don't work like that. No single question brings in the best and filters out the rest. Your existing team won't turn on like a lightbulb; they won't suddenly become the employees you dream about simply by your introducing motivating values.

To flourish, we need the right set of conditions, created by great leaders. What worked for me and for the leaders I have subsequently interviewed and counseled wasn't one strategy that produced better results over another, or one insight that mattered more than the rest. It was a formula that ensured my team cared about my company as much as I did. And it wasn't through coercion and correction, or rewards and recognition. It was through something more fundamental. Something more essential to the way we humans operate. The formula works for the company I lead. It works for the leaders I have consulted. And it will work for you if you embrace it. I am sure of it, because it is the most empowering way to help people be themselves. Their true selves.

The formula has four parts, and it breaks down like this:

fit + ability + safety + ownership = all-in team

I call it the FASO Model. I simply pronounce it "faso." As in rhyming with the word "lasso." It's the centerpoint of my new book, and here's the breakdown of what it means:

Fit. A company is a congregation of people and tools that work in concert to achieve specific outcomes. People will come, grow, and go. People aren't the constant in a company, nor should they be; the roles are. To ensure your employees are a good fit, first understand all the functions of a role, and the qualities and qualifications required for that role. Then enlist people for the position matching their potential, talents, and identity to the role's tasks. Don't look for a person who can do it all; that is a rare situation. Look for the person who is best at what you need most; they are abundantly available.

Ability. Great leaders know people are far more than their résumé. Hiring based on experience and education is limiting— for your team, and for your company's growth. Rather than match a person's qualifications to a role, consider a person's innate, experiential, and potential abilities. People who want to do a job always outperform people who need to do a job. Seek the want. The desire. The thirst.

Safety. People do their best when they are not worried by the rest. Protect your team and set up conditions in which they feel safe, enabling them to lean in to contribution. There are three types of safety to consider: Physical safety, where they have protection from harm to their physical self. Financial safety, where they can maintain their life standard without concern for how they will sustain themselves each day. And psychological safety, where they have confidence that they won't be punished, ridiculed, or humiliated for expressing their true opinions, beliefs, background, or experience.

Ownership. If you want your team to act like owners, make sure they feel like owners. This one insight alone, put into effect, transforms perfunctory performance into all- out effort. Once we have an employee who does the right job for their abilities, who feels safe to be themselves at work, the next critical step is to foster psychological ownership— a sense of control, understanding, and personalization— over a task, project, or idea.

Psychological ownership is the strongest influence over self- identity: What is mine is me and what is me is mine. My ideas are me. My possessions are an extension of me. When team members are designated ownership over aspects of their job, the natural tendency is for them to put everything they have into it.

There you have it. The All-In Formula. F+ A+ S+ O. It can be helpful to think about the formula like this:

Fit and ability (where potential meets opportunity— identity is developed)

Safety and ownership (where development meets environment— identity is expressed)

Each part is effective on its own, but together, these strategies have a multiplicative effect. Deploy the formula properly, and I promise you, you will build the team of your dreams.

This essay was excerpted from Mike Michalowicz's new book, All In, which is about how great leaders build unstoppable teams.

Mike Michalowicz

Author of 'All In' and 'Profit First'

Mike Michalowicz is an international keynote speaker and author of innovative business strategy books, including WSJ bestseller Profit First. Mike has built and sold several multi-million-dollar ventures, which have been a proving ground for his financial and operational systems and models. His latest book, All In, reimagines how leaders attract, retain, and empower their staff to be an unstoppable force in your business and life.

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