What does it take to build a team?
A goal, and a leader.
Simple right? While it is a simple concept, the implementation is far from easy. When you build a team, prioritizing personalities vs work can be a challenging task. I’m a firm believer in people who want to work, will work. Whether they are taxed on resources or struggling mentally a worker bee will always chase the honey. The teams you build should focus on this concept. Managing personalities will always be a chore, but you shouldn’t need to chase a bee to collect the honey. If they are not willing to put in the work, or are more content with telling you how busy they are, you might consider finding another volunteer. A bee has no time to buzz if they’re harvesting.
Now that I’ve hit my analogy quota, Let me explain to you how I successfully build teams so you can judge my methods and maybe learn a thing or two in the process. I am fortunate enough to have started very young. I also had a wealth of mentors who invested in me early, while I was still a young teen. There isn’t a secret to how I was able to get people much older than me to buy in to my agenda. I have always been a talker with crazy ideas, and engaging people is somewhat a passion of mine when I feel they are worthy of the little time I have to share. Studying how people interact and learning how personalities clash has taught me a lot about the psyche. This is the core of building a team. Knowing what you need and the type of person (or people) to carry out your tasks.
It would be a fair assumption to say 90% of people who have interacted with me past hello have taken a personality test. Studying a personality takes time, and while we eventually get to the point where I have a mental map of the psyche, there’s nothing wrong with jumping from A to Z straight out the gate. The risk you take is that honesty is hard to come by, and assuming someone is being honest with you is setting yourself up for failure. Time will always show someones true colors and no one escapes time. Sometimes, letting them lead the dance helps you decide whether you need a new dance partner at the start of the next song. You should analyze all of your leaders based on their personalities and ability to interact with people. A leader needs to know when to engage and when to step away. They are responsible for pushing the agenda and keeping everyone in line so that you can focus on the end goal. If it takes you more time to manage your leaders than it does to lead the people under them on your own, chances are you’ve chosen the wrong set of leaders. Every person you choose should have value toward achieving your overall goal from the top down. Your leaders should be able to identify this among the ranks below them. People get touchy over being considered above or below someone else, but we aren’t putting a value on someones worth, we are trying to succeed towards our end goal. Hierarchy is important to achieve this. If anyone attempts to question your ability to lead by turning it into an argument over their worth, their value to your team is probably minuscule IF you are treating them right. If you are being fair to your team and this is a consistent issue, chop chop.
So, now you’ve chosen your team and you’re ready to run into battle. You’ve forgot one thing! You forgot to map out your battlefield. In the modern times, we call this Risk Management. The ability to map out your risk is integral to your success at achieving anything, whether it’s solo or on a team. When building your team, you should consider bringing in someone with excellent analytics skills. You want the person helping manage risk to be capable of making decisions based strictly on probability and not off of emotion. So what does this emotionless soul do? They determine the amount of risk each decision involves, and whether you will fail your end goal based on the probability of those decisions. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for this role to be reactive strictly on logic and probability because their choices can take your entire ship into the shoreline if they react emotionally.
We won’t go into budget management or project management because I could write a few articles on each one. The bottom line is that you will need an individual that can keep a time line running your projects. They aren’t necessarily the decision maker, but they are the person responsible for delivering on the projects that contribute to your end goal. You will also need someone managing budget with a very logical mindset because they will run the budget against your goals and timelines in order to keep you out of the red. Preferably, you want this role split into 2 positions, while the project manager will keep the time line and budget resources, ultimately, it is the budget manager that decides on whether there is a budget for what needs to be spent or if it’s beneficial to even spend the money.
Your team’s coming together, you have a group that can determine the risk, budget and time it takes to achieve your final goal. One thing is missing, The talker *enters room* That was for my own humor. Whenever you’re trying to achieve anything you need buy in, and you need someone to sell it to the people you want buy in from. This could mean financially, or recruiting people to contribute/invest in your direction. The best person for this role is someone that has proven business acumen, so they can communicate effectively, intelligently, and oversell your teams philosophy. Having someone that understands the concept of business as a whole will give you a higher success rate at creating loyalty around your agenda, whether it is a product, a movement, or all of the above. If you do not have someone capable of engaging people and understanding your business in and out, they will fail at bringing you investors and ultimately they will hurt your reputation. You can’t succeed off of a failed reputation.
Now we can end where we began. The most important thing of all **drum roll** You need a GOAL. If you do not have a goal, you cannot unite your team. If you do not have direction to get to your goal, you will fail. The person responsible for this? The leader. They are responsible for keeping everyone consistently moving forward and making sure that the leads are keeping their team occupied with deliveries. An unoccupied team is an unproductive team, and leaving people room to do nothing gives people room to question your leadership. The leader is responsible for making the tough decisions and holding everyone from the top down accountable for their role in the company. If there is no accountability, there is no success.
One thing that isn’t necessarily a role but evenly impactful as any is negativity. If you allow negativity through your doors, it will taint your view of success.
I may have missed a few pieces that I’d normally include, but I am publishing this as is with no proof reading, and no revisions because I’m confident in what I know, and.. I’m all out of time.