We’re on the 4th Recipe for building Stretch Recipes and it’s a key ingredient to the success of the company. We’ve talked about how to build acompassionate, grateful, and loving business. Now, it’s time to talk team!
I’m a firm believer that your mission, vision, and dedication to do good work will naturally draw the right team. So when I speak of building the right team in this instance, it means all the things that I will do for and with my team, as a member and the leader to ensure they are empowered, recognized, and reach their full potential.
So here are my Top 10 Ingredients for Building the Right Team.
1) Hire who you trust to get the job done, and let them do it. There’s no rocket science behind this, there’s no additional clauses. The best thing you can do is get out of their way and only step in when the course changes and if it’s in conflict with the vision, mission, or communication of the company. Building a framework for what you want is helpful in this instance, but remember, they are the best at____ and that’s why they are on your team. Therefore, listen and value their input and make sure that you have taken and tested what they say into account before completely dismissing it.
2) Work with self-driven people. People who are ready to succeed at what they do and wake up ready to add their talents to the mission in order to fulfill the vision. Self-directed team members are great. They are awesome at communicating what they need so they can get the job done.
3) Remember, it’s WE. When I started, my mission statement never said I. It’s always been we. I can’t do it alone, but we can do it together. I never use the phrase works for me when referring to a team member because we are in this together. We work together.
4) Ensure the projects/assignments they are given helps challenge and push them further into developing in the direction they want to go. I always have a very candid and frank discussion with people when they want to join my team. It’s to inform them that work has to be done and to find out what work it is they want to do. Where do they see themselves in the future and I work to craft their team contribution to help facilitate that end goal. Yes, everyone pitches in without complaint where need be, but when you’re in start-up mode and/or bootstrapped, there is no such thing as this is my job, this is your job. This is our job.
5) Reward your team as much as you can. Treat them to lunch every now and then to say thank you. See if you can work in trade or grab a bonus gift for them or two to help them with things they may need. When a goal is reached together, celebrate, do a little dance… Most of my team members want food or student loans paid. I keep this in mind as I build up for asks and trades in the bootstrapped environment. Every member on my team knows that if they can get one of my top 10 favorite major music acts/musicians to perform at one of our events, they get Oprah’d. (Yes, we’ve turned Oprah into a verb that refers to the showering of lavish gifts & perks).
6) Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and everyone drops the ball or doesn’t make the right move at the right time. Forgive them when it happens, coach them to success for the next time. If you find that this person continues to make the same mistakes over and over. They are not happy within your organization and you should let them go so that the rest of the team doesn’t have to suffer from them dropping the ball. The best team members work very hard not to let the rest of the team down. They know that their success determines the paycheck for everyone within the organization. So when you have a team member that continually acts in their own interest and lets the team down consistently, it’s because they aren’t right for your team. It doesn’t mean they are a bad person, or that you are a bad leader, it means they aren’t the right fit for your team.
7) Listen. If your team members consistently ask you for the same thing, it’s probably because they are unclear or you aren’t telling them. Make sure you listen to their needs and work towards empowering them with all the tools they need to do the best job that they can. If your team is self-driven, they will be as proactive as possible about researching technologies and solutions to present to you. Many times, you will still have to give them guidance, but make sure you are listening and filling the gaps where needed.
8) Lead. Your team will follow your example. Sure, you will not have the same skills, but they will follow the example set by you. If you show up late, blow things off, don’t update them on things, they will do the same to you. Be the change you want to see in your company. If you think your company is filled with people who work from 8AM-5PM and they spend 4 hours on Facebook and 2 hours at lunch and 2 hours on the tasks needed to be complete for the day, what are you doing during the day-to-day? Maybe from 8AM – 5PM, you’re out researching or meeting with clients. Update them on what that is and why, namely where they fit once the new clients come in. This will remind them that you aren’t out of the office all day doing nothing and that you are working just as hard as them to continue to fulfill the mission and bring the vision to life.
9) Learn about the job that each of your team members holds. When you know what they face each day, you have a better idea of some of the questions they need answered as well as the hurdles they may face. This makes it easier to set expectations, timelines and provide them them with the things they’ll eventually need to get the job done.
10) Be accountable and take ownership. The right team is going to be accountable and take ownership for the bad and the mistakes they’ve made. But it is the leaders job to take this burden unto themselves and to always remind the team when they have done something good. When the leader has made a mistake, it’s important to own up to it and correct it. The right team is going to know that their leader is not invincible, but they have chosen you as their leader to build the mission and vision because they believe in all three.