By Adam Toren
In 1992, professional, active NBA players for the first time comprised the United States men’s Olympic basketball team. Led by superstar Michael Jordan, the press and fans soon began referring to this super squad as the “Dream Team.” They went undefeated during the Olympics and beat their opponents by an average of 44 points. There’s nothing quite like a great team backed by a great leader, and all sports analogies aside, assembling your perfect business team should be one of your top priorities in order to score touchdown after touchdown of success. Okay, that was the last sports analogy.
Even with several brilliant players, a team cannot function properly without an effective leader. As a leader, you must set the tone for success, positivity, and overcoming challenges. You’ve got to establish routines that are both inspiring and productive. Just like the leader of a sports team, you’ve got to study the opposition and constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency and performance. Of course, you’ll soon realize that no one can go it alone. So it’s time to hire.
Attracting and Locating the Best of the Best
If you’re actively demonstrating fantastic leadership qualities and are generating fresh and exciting ideas, proactive people will seek you out and ask to join you. Of course, you shouldn’t automatically accept everyone who asks to be a part of your team, but generally speaking, qualified and eager individuals who approach you already share similar energy and mindsets as yourself. When you actively seek out team members with classified ads or by dropping networking clues, make sure to put the qualities of passion and willingness to learn above all others. Consider everyone who can offer these qualities regardless of work experience or education. You never know where you’ll find a diamond in the rough.
Role Players and Generalists
There is room for both types of individuals on your dream team. Though modern business is increasingly trending toward highly individualized specific roles, an all-around player who can contribute good work in many different areas remains highly valuable. When you delegate, make sure that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Members of a dream team will hopefully go the extra mile and contribute ideas of their own, but it’s up to you to organize the playbook and come up with a game plan. Okay, that was the last sports analogy.
More important than any individual’s spectacular abilities is the concept of group cohesion. Again, this cohesion will trickle down from the brightness of your vision plan. If your vision and your strategy to implement it are clear and exciting, your team members will emanate the same passion that you do and insist on striving toward progress and meeting goals. Treat your team members like equals, remember that they are individuals with ultimate goals of their own, and be generous when you reward them, whether it be financially or with praise. At the same time, use plenty of constructive criticism to make sure everyone is on the same page. Good team members should be confident and responsible enough to handle negative reviews. Finally, statistical analysis for performance reviews can be illuminating and helpful, but it’s not everything. Sometimes people can contribute intangibles that can’t be measured on paper. You’ve got to consider these intangibles when you’re measuring your team member’s value.
The Expanding Team
Finally, realize that your dream team is not solely comprised of your direct employees. Plenty of other people contribute to the success of you and your business. Freelancers, business partners, suppliers, and vendors should all be considered as part of your expanded team, not to mention your local community. Of course, your close friends and family are an integral part of your financial and personal success, so treat them accordingly. And last but certainly not least, your customers are a part of your dream team. Just like a sports team tends to do better at home because of the support of your fans (last sports analogy), your business would not exist without your customers, so welcome them onto the team with open and appreciative arms.
- Adam Toren
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.