You’ve probably heard the mantra, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” It’s become a popular saying because it’s true. In his book The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team John Maxwell reminds us that we cannot do anything of real value alone. We need a team if we want to achieve greatness in whatever we do.
However, this team cannot be composed of just anyone. If we want to achieve greatness in what we’re doing we must have a great team. Too often in business we look to hire people for jobs. We need to turn that around and begin to look to bring in team members who will help us achieve the vision we have for our companies. We need people who will add genuine value to our business due to their skills and personal attributes.
I once heard a speaker, I think it was Maxwell, say that he had occasionally hired excellent people he had met even though he did not have a position open for them. He hired them for the potential value he saw in them. Once they were part of the team he developed a position for them in which they could excel.
Who do you need on your team? The answer depends on what you want to accomplish. What is your vision for your organization and what will it take to achieve that? Once you answer those questions you can begin to focus on the qualities you need in the persons on your team. However, in general, you want people
- Who buy into your vision. You want people who are as excited about your vision for your organization as you are.
- Who can complement some of your weaknesses. I want people who have skills, insights, and experiences that I don’t have. This is how you manage around your weaknesses.
- Who are leaders. You don’t need followers on your team. You want strong leaders who know how to get things done. Insecure leaders are afraid of bringing more leaders onto their team, but without such leaders your organization will suffer.
- Who have relational skills. I’ve known highly skilled people who are horrible at interpersonal relationships. You don’t need those people on your team. They will create too much discord that will override any value they might bring otherwise.
- Who can fill a niche in your organization. Your organization will be only as strong as its weakest link. If there is some area that is weaker than others it will bring the whole organization down to a lower level. You need to make sure every area of your organization is represented on your team.
Who do you not need on your team?
- People who do not share your dream. This does not make them bad people, but it does make them incapable of helping you take your organization to the next level.
- People who stir discontent due to their personalities and/or attitudes.
- People who have an entitlement mentality. These may be people who have been with your organization for several years and may be very resistant to change or to growing with the company.
- People who are basically followers. These are often very insecure people who will need constant supervision and instruction. They will drain the life out of your organization and will weaken it over time the longer they stay.
- People who can add no real value to your team. They may be very nice people with great personalities, but they bring no new skill sets or ideas to the team.
How would you evaluate your team? What changes need to be made to your team that would make it stronger? Are you capable of leading a high quality team or do you need to learn some new skills? I found Maxwell’s book to be a very good resource on team building.