One of the reasons that so many businesses fail is that the entrepreneur tries to wear too many hats. Running a business successfully is an extremely complex task and few people are cabable of it. There is also an old saying that the team is only as straong as its weakest link and that is why it is so critically important to take a lot of care to build your team. Close friends may be cheap and loyal but are seldom going to cut it.
Team building is a time-consuming process and the selection of people with the right talents and the right personalities takes a lot of effort. Talented people are almost a dime a dozen, but melding them into a cohesive team is another thing completely. It is so important to ensure that all of the team have similar values and goals and fit the companies culture The wrong person is like a cancer, spreading an infection through the company while the right fit will build the company, encourage others and act like a catalist. It takes a long time to build a strong corporate culture and a few bad actions to destroy it.
Jeff Bezos didn’t build Amazon alone, Zuckerberg didn’t build Facebook alone, Musk didn’t build a space rocket or the best car ever built and Steve Jobs didn’t really invent anything. But they all had the vision, the skills and the leadership qualities to build fantastic teams who built great products.
Mike Lazaridis didn’t screw up Blackberry alone, Jeffrey Skilling didn’t send Enron down the tubes alone, they had poor, un motivated teams with no strong guidance to help them.
Everyone says that they want and need to attract the right talent. But before you look for them, do you know precisely what you are looking for? Not only the skill sets, but the character traits that fit with your corporate culture. Do you even know what your corporate culture is? How do you identify potential employees ? Do you just grab the first person who fits your skills requirements? Do you have your current team take part in the selection process and determine whether they like your choice?
So what is the selection process?
Firstly, you need to identify a range of people who have the skills to perform the role you require. Ensure they are all self motivated, eager to learn and are positive team players.
Examine the personality and character traits of the people in your team that you could not do without. Identify the people in your potential group that best fit your corporate culture and the have a think tank session with the potentials and your current team and watch the interaction. It is extremely revealing.
Select the person that fits your company and team culture. Now you understand the talents of the person joining the team, do you need to slightly adjust roles so that you can achieve maximum results.
You need to make these decisions very carefully, take your time, don’t rush it. Involve your team, this will help ensure that the skills and personalities will mesh. If you rush it, focus on skills alone rather than the whole picture, it is likely that you will have a whole lot of pain waiting for you somewhere up the path.
Your company is a reflection of the skills, moral character and personality of your team under your leadership. If it is a finely oiled machine working to a strong compass, your company is well on the way to success.
The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.