You are as good as your team.
If you have been trying to build a business for a while, then you might be thinking about building your team. Or at least getting a person or two onboard to help you manage everything that you have to do. It is hard to build a team, one that works efficiently, effectively and most importantly get on well.
While you can build a successful company alone, you are going to want to grow and increase your ability. That is where a team is going to allow you to flourish.
Big Dreams, Good Teams
Let’s be realistic, you can only manage so much of your workload. You might not have the ability to do several things at once - and while you are the reason you are so successful, at a certain point you will also be the reason you aren’t moving forward. You have to recognize when it is the right time to branch out.
Soloprenuers have the mindset that they have to do everything themselves. The drive is crazy - and the ability usually grows to match it over time. Workaholic? No. Passionate? Yes.
Going alone is great, getting your dream together is perfect.
Think about your biggest dreams, then think about what that team looks like - that is your goal here.
Personality Beats Talent
Yes, you read that correct. The team that outperforms in all areas isn’t the one with the biggest sets of separated talents. It is the team that has the most fun, that works hard, that when the works start, it is as one. That the sum equals more than the parts - synergy.
Does talent matter? Yes. Of course, however attitude or personality seems always more important (at least to me).
If you fill your team with the right people, because they fit with your culture and your ethos and vision, and you nurture them from that point when it comes to skills and talent - you will get what you want. Its all about getting the right people in the bus.
So when you think about the skills that you need - designer, programmer, technical writer, sales, marketing - make those the base skills.
When thinking about the things that matter - open-minded, creative, motivated, authentic, honest, brutal… what do you want to see in the team?
Before you pick people, populate a pool. Recruitment isn’t what it once was and to be honest that is probably a good thing. When you are looking to build a great team, the more people you have to choose from; the better. So putting your talent pool together is a must. You can do it over time in order to get the best results.
You will build your talent pool by talking to people that you know or asking for recommendations. You can reach out via LinkedIn or head to networking events and ask for references.
Build a big talent pool of people, and slowly begin to talk to them in-depth about what you might be looking for. More often than not - out of the talent pool comes your team.
When you move from working alone to working with a team, your approach is going to change. Every decision you make is going to impact the people that you work with - their work, their income and the availability. So getting a business mentor or a coach might be a good idea. Someone that you can talk to outside of the team that will give you advice and direction, or at the very least help you orientate yourself better.
This is where it might get complicated unless you take the above step. You need to remember that you are moving into a management role. The decisions you make, the tools you use, even down to how to communicate is all on you.
And while there is a lot to be said for giving people autonomy, celebrating Friday night over some beer and team outings help keep things on track too. You can use multiple platforms, like Time clock for tracking employee hours, Trello or Asana boards to see the progress as a team, Slack for the quickest form of communication and Google Docs to make sure that everyone has instant access to every piece of work that is done.
Looking after your team as individuals will mean they care about the project and the work, and you - enough to always put the most into what they are doing. And that is a big deal - nurture and grow them in the right way, and they will outperform at every junction.
The people on your team, at a certain point, will get into their flow. This also means that you might see some deep crossovers between the jobs that they do to what they can do. A product idea or improvement might come from a different area like marketing or design. You should make your team a place where this is possible and something that brings even more to your team in terms of value and ability.
There will be times that you are going to need to provide support and care to your team members. You should make sure that you are prepared to do that. Smaller teams generally mean that people are closer, and when there is something going on in their personal lives, it is more apparent.
But if you respect and support your team, then you will get the same in return - and maybe even more.
There will be occasions that someone in a team, gets others excited, are fired up and bring a lot of energy. Every team can do with a really driven, and well-handled wild card - fall you have to do is find out how to ensure everyone works well with them.
And finally, when you are building your team; you should have goals. Goals that are there for you perhaps but simple enough for you to break it down for your teams.
P. S. This is a partnered post.