How a Team Leader Came to 
Create a Team Building Website...

I love my job as a team leader. I manage a team of about 40 people, which keeps me very busy during the day.

And running this website keeps me even busier after work and on weekends!

corporate drumming day

So why do I do it? …

It initially arose out of frustration …

I went looking for team building ideas to do in association with a field trip I was planning for my team. 

It took me hours to find what I wanted on the internet… hours trawling through lots of team building company websites. Mostly in my own time in the evenings.

I was left feeling there had to be a 
better way ….

(I finally settled on corporate drumming as a team building idea ... it was fabulous - just what I wanted at the time!)

My belief in the value of working as a team began early in my working life, when I was a communication and marketing specialist in a small consultancy business of less than 10 people.

Teamwork was the only thing that kept us all sane when the company took on public relations work for the first Indy 500 car race on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Everyone's workload took a huge turn upwards for six months. I had to take on more responsibility than I felt ready for, given it was my first full-time job.

I couldn't have survived without the support from my colleagues and the positive team spirit of that small company.

I first became a 
team leader almost 20 years ago...

After leaving to go on a working holiday to Japan in 1992, I came back to a different job. My team grew to first one team member, then two, then three. I was a manager. Without much clue of how to be one!

Quite frankly, I don't think I did a very good job.

I just didn't really pay much attention to how I could be a better team leader and build an effective working environment for my team.

Making a career change out of the specialised area I worked in meant taking a ten year 'break' from a direct team leader role. I was working in a large infrastructure services organisation, and I was constantly:

  • part of teams
  • working with other teams
  • trying to achieve results through working groups, as well as...
  • getting frustrated when teams failed to work well.

About two years ago, my company promoted me to be the team leader of my present team. From leading a team of one (me!), overnight I had responsibility for managing more than 35 people.

Talk about a steep learning curve!

It wasn't quite that dramatic, as I'd coordinated many cross-functional teams over the years without having the formal title of 'boss'.

But at the start, I felt out of my depth. There's nothing like being thrown in at the deep end to inspire you to learn and develop new skills.

I became a voracious reader of books and other materials about management, leadership and team building to help me understand what I could do to make myself a better team leader.

One day, I was talking to a friend about the potential of the internet to share information, and how hard it can be to find what you need on the web despite the wonders of Google and other search engines.

I suddenly thought – why not set up my own website?

I'm inspired by the idea of enabling others to achieve the success they desire. And I like the thought that any support I can give in terms of making teams and team leaders more effective, is likely to result in positive ripple effects that go on and on.

(Part of my motivation is also to see whether it's possible to make money from the internet in this way. Check back with me in a year or so and I'll tell you. In the meantime, if you'd like to do something similar yourself, I highly recommend Site Build It. Visit the SBI! home page or take the video tour to get started on your own online business.) 

I still find it a challenge to balance getting things done myself and creating an environment where team members are happy and productive.

So I don't pretend to have got the whole team building thing right, or know all the answers. It's an ongoing work in progress.

However, I'm passionate about the difference individuals and teams can make with their actions – both large and small.

Whether you're a manager or supervisor ….or a leader within your team 'without the title' like I was for many years, I wish you all the best in developing your team into what you want it to be. I hope this website can play a part in assisting you to create the high performing team you want and a workplace which is fun and inspiring to work in.

The contribution a truly effective team can make is incredible, whether that be in corporate life, sport or any field of endeavour. I'll leave you with my favourite team-building quote…

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can make a difference … in fact, it's the only thing that ever has.

Regards, Alison Kelly.

April 2010

UPDATE: July 2011

Well, I've now been on my online business journey for about 18 months.

It's been a mix of fun, excitement and challenge. And a never-ending learning experience! While it’s certainly been time-consuming, I’ve loved seeing the website take shape. And the occasional emails of thanks from happy visitors make my day!

Over the last year or so, I’ve developed a lot of trust in the SBI process – in the company as well as the forums where I can ask advice from other website owners.

I’m actually more of a fan of SBI now than I was at the beginning, and so glad I stumbled across them when I was looking to build an online business. I would never have made it this far along the journey without them.

So am I making money? I did promise that I’d tell you, didn’t I?

Well, the income doesn’t come close to replacing my executive salary :) But the website does earn enough to pay all my utilities bills, car running costs and more. And income is continuing to grow rapidly, so I see exciting possibilities for the future.

Check back in with me in 2012 for another update... 

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