Mangement For Design

Autumn Release

The Right People on Your Team

Successful businesses — without exception — want team members who will work together not only to achieve the objectives that the business has set, but to make everyone else on the team better than they are individually. In particular, they want team members who will challenge management, who will enable the business to be at its best, and who will work hard to ensure that the principles and mission are shared throughout the team.

What kind of energy do they have?
A great team player never thinks or speaks in terms of “can’t,” only in terms of “can,” as in “How can we?” Such team players are filled with energy. They light up a room with their excitement and enthusiasm, their calmness and focus, and their strength and confidence. Their energy will permeate everything we do. It will be the fount of resourcefulness and connectedness with others, and it will enliven your team with positive feelings that increase your speed and expand your possibilities.

Do they want to be the best?
One of the primary rules for success is that you must have an undying desire to challenge yourself to grow and be the best. Some people just want to do a good job, to be liked, to be comfortable, and to be part of an enjoyable team, and that’s all fine. Are they willing to put in the time and energy that being the best takes? Of course, even with the most talented and most committed people you can find, you won’t necessarily achieve this all of the time. But a key ingredient to success is at least trying — “going for it” 100% of the time. And to do that, all of your team members need to be willing to do whatever it takes to be the best.

Are they willing to let someone else in the team be the best?
This might seem like a contradiction of what we just stated, but it’s really not. Having a desire to be the best is outwardly focused. Being willing to let someone else be the best is inwardly focused. Stated simply, being on your team means that you put aside your desire for immediate personal gain and are willing to support others. It means you don’t always get to be the star. You have to be just as enthusiastic about being in the background for a time as you are being the centre of attention.

Are they personally responsible?
Another essential quality for anyone who wants to be part of your team is being willing to take responsibility for one’s own decisions and actions. We don’t want someone on your team who has trouble accepting responsibility or who points fingers at others. That only breeds distrust and can undermine or even destroy a team. Instead, we want someone who is comfortable enough with himself or herself to say, “I made a mistake, but I learned from it,” or, “Here’s how I would do things differently next time.” Do they have unique talent or ability? Ideally, each person on your team should bring unique talents or abilities to your business. Not everyone needs to be a ‘superstar’ in all facets of the business. What we need are people who are superstars in at least one critical aspect of your business, people who can complement one another and whose talents add value to those of other team members.

Are they willing to adhere to your principles?
This is the most important point: the principles and rules that govern how your team members interact with one another. Your business will rise or fall on the strength of the behaviours of your people. It’s imperative that each of your team members — willingly and enthusiastically — subscribe to your principles and rules. If they can’t or won’t, that’s OK. It’s their choice. But then they should join another team and not yours. Your team’s success ultimately will depend on the success of your principles and rules, and that success will turn on the commitment and compliance of those who are asked to live by it.

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