Growing up in the 90’s I had the chance to watch The Chicago Bulls, one of the greatest basketball teams to ever play in the NBA. It consisted of three NBA Hall of Famers; Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the infamous Dennis Rodman. There have been tons of great teams in sports and even more great teams in business. Putting together a great team is essential to finding success in business. The same way that your entourage outside of business is important; those who you surround yourself around in business are also important.
Let’s face it. If your business is filled with people who are striving to reach a common goal you’ll have a better shot at achieving it. If your business is filled with people who have the opposite values and are simply looking for a paycheque, you’ll probably fail. So how do you put together a team that has everything it takes to be great? Well the sad part is, there is no way to be sure that you’ve put together a team that will guarantee success. But these insights should help you in understanding what it takes to be great.
Invest in your team
Your team is only as strong as your weakest player. SURE you could have tons of all stars on your team but if that one weak player slips up and costs you everything, you’re out of luck. For that reason, it’s important to put effort into making your team better on a regular basis. Whether you’re a startup and you are educating your team mates on a day-to-day basis or if you’re a fortune 500 company and you are bringing in top talent to educate your teams. The importance of developing your team cannot be overlooked.
Sending your team to events or enrolling them into online courses to polish their skills will benefit the entire team. Whether that’s training a team member on process management or training a team member on simple leadership skills – All training helps. If you’re working with a small budget that cant send your employees off on $1000 conferences here are a few links that could help any team become smarter and more productive:
- Meetings Are Toxic….Often pointless!
- How to get things done!
- Dealing with Difficult People!
- How to Delegate Effectively
- Five ways to become more productive immediately!
Reward the Best
We grow up being taught that team work is what it’s all about. We are taught that team work is the key to success and that being a part of a team will increase your ability to succeed. Well, scientific studies would disagree with this sentiment and state that teams often rely on one sole individual to take them to the top. For the Chicago Bulls it was Michael Jordan who was supported by Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Without Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman would not have won as many if any championships that they did with MJ. In business, there is usually one person who is the true star and the others are considered the supporting cast.
Find the Right Fit
Hiring people that fit your organization is essential to keeping your organization moving in the right direction. Entire hiring strategies are built around the concept of ensuring that your team is built up of individuals who fit. That is, hire the people who fit your company’s values, philosophy and work ethic. Those who don’t fit can be brought in once in a while as freelancers or left for your competition to scope up. Either way, hiring them is a sure-fire path to finding morale decrease and productivity drag.
In sports the goal is simple: win. You need to start setting team goals that people care about. Think about what could get your team excited every morning to want to come to work or want to start cracking at the task at hand? Think about it and think about it hard. Make sure that it’s not something small because that’s not going to get anyone excited. Think about the big picture. Could your team increase sales by 100% in the next year? Maybe increase web traffic by 50% in the next year? Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating these goals:
- Specific: Make sure that your goal is so specific that there is no way for employees to say they didn’t understand. The goal shouldn’t run around the bush – It needs to be straight to the point.
- Measurable: A goal that cannot be measured is a goal that requires no accountability. Ensure that the goal can be measured in one way or another – Whether that’s through quantitative data or qualitative data will depend on the goal.
- Attainable: Ensure that your goal can actually take place. If your business is struggling to survive don’t make a goal to be the next Facebook in two weeks. Be realistic and most importantly, be logical.
- Relevant: Is there something in your vision that you’re striving towards? If so, that might be a good place to start with your goal. If your industry has taken a significant shift and you need to adapt that might be a good place to start.
- Time-Based: Setting a goal without a time frame will only promote procrastination and excuses. If you set a goal to receive 10% more traffic to your website in the upcoming year then you need to do everything you can in the next 12 months to do so.
Size of the Team
I’m NOT saying call your HR department and tell them to start laying people off! I’m just saying keep it simple. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen than there’s going to be less flavour in the meal. Although I love the concept of democracy as a way to run our country, democracy really isn’t the best approach to business. The primary fault in this form of decision making is that there is no requirement for proof, logic or reason for the decisions being made. Often it will come down to who is able to make the sale and how hard they push for their idea.