Ultimately, yes, there will be more than 3 steps to building an enduring team, but this is a great place to start the conversation. And while it can be daunting to examine how well our team is performing, the fate of our company depends on it. So, let’s jump on in.
1. Building a culture of awesome.
And culture begins with you. If you are an owner, Founder, CEO, or President don't look anywhere else. Culture = you. Like a parent to a child, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. So, if your culture is already awesome then congratulations. However, if your culture is lacking then take a look in the mirror.
But isn't awesome stretching it a bit? Nope. For starters, you deserve awesome. But quite practically, you will need an awesome environment for your team to enjoy competing in this business world. The problem is that culture, unless approached very consciously, is the by-product of our unconscious attitudes about life, wealth, communication, future, etc.
Company culture does not happen randomly although it can happen accidentally. Culture is created by attitude, communication, perceived future, believed past, compensation opportunities and more. There has to be an ongoing commitment to coach and develop in all these areas (and more) to make openness, passion, excellence, and exploration a daily experience.
As an owner, your most important objective is to create a culture where people love to work. It will be the only way to attract and keep the key employees you need to succeed.
2. Know your vision. Help others find theirs.
It goes without saying that we are in businesses to succeed. Financial success is obvious. But is that all? We can, and we must, do better than that. What is your vision and mission? What is your "Why"? Let people know how you and your product will change the world for the better.
Simon Sinek does an excellent job talking about this in a short TED Talk presentation. The Power of Why: How great leaders inspire action.
And it goes further than inspiring just the top-level leaders. Great companies are full of great people who know how to lead from any seat. So, building a great team also means you are going to help your people find their "Why" too. Helping your employees discover their deeper reason and motivation for their career and life will inspire them to be the best employee possible and you will earn their real respect in the process.
3. Take actions to influence today. Build your team for tomorrow.
It is our job to take our company into the future, but what should our next steps be? There are a lot of choices: grow the team; create a better sales process, team training, promote someone into more responsibility, delegate, upgrade marketing material, redouble compliance or quality control? There are generally many good options. And they all need attention, but in what order?
It can be overwhelming getting our company where we want it to be. You must make sure you have people on your team who share the responsibility of moving items like these forward. Yes, you have your hand on the rudder, but you must delegate much of the action and responsibility to them. By trusting key members of your team to follow through, make suggestions, and take leadership you are naturally leading them to greater levels of commitment to the company.
As they take ownership and leadership, they invest more of themselves personally - and this is EXACTLY what you are looking for - you want your team to make it personal. Because when they make it personal - they are going to do whatever it takes to make it great.