Building a company is a lot like building a sports team. You want to work only with the most skilled, highly knowledgeable players. You want a team that is hungry for success and will stop at nothing to win.
Who are these players, and how can you find them? How can you make sure they always play at their fullest potential? What hurdles might you need to jump over? How can you make sure your team wins?
The key to building a winning team for your startup is simple: choose people who see your vision clearly and will execute it accordingly.
Building a winning team for your startup
Search with tunnel vision
When selecting people for your team, stay focused on the big picture. Everything in your peripheral should be blurred out. It will only sink your startup. You’re looking for people with clearly defined skills and abilities that align perfectly with your organization.
How well does the potential candidate fit into the culture? What do they specialize in? Do they seem excited about your goals?
One thing you don’t want to do is hire too quickly. You’ll end up settling because you’re in a rush. Take your time with this process. The talent you hire should always be sold on your ideas. It's not just about the money. The best people will be inspired by your vision and can see it through.
Let every player know they’re important
It is easy for people to feel disconnected from the company they work for. Why does this happen? One reason might be because they don’t feel like a necessary asset. They don’t see how their job ties in with the big picture or how they're essential. That’s where you, the coach, come in.
Really get to know your team and build rapport. Understand how they see things and how they view their work. Then, use this knowledge to explain how everything they’re doing is helping the company succeed and how none of the work they do is insignificant.
An organization with confident people who know how they bring value is an organization built to win.
The needle on the compass should be the same for everyone
A lack of direction can be a result of a lack of vision. Too often, people are playing by their own rules with other people doing the same thing. This isn’t to say they aren’t working hard. But hard work won’t get the team very far if someone is going West while everyone else is going North.
Going in the wrong direction is just as detrimental as not having any direction. When you set clearly defined goals, your team will always be geared toward the same path. Everyone will be playing for the same team and shooting for a shared objective.
Communication should be consistent
Teams that approach the game collaboratively are setting themselves up to win. It takes consistent and constant communication to keep everyone on the same path. You’ll set the course but will depend on your team to execute it accordingly. Teammates should talk to each other and collaborate to reach this common goal.
They’ll be able to work together more efficiently once they know what they are working toward. It is also crucial that your team knows their own roles very well. Collaboration is essential, but each part of the machine needs to be working properly for the whole thing to run smoothly.
Use game management techniques
Sports teams train tirelessly through any weather conditions and any personal difficulties. Players prepare themselves for every scenario and make sure they know their competitors like the back of their hands. They study their playbook and ingrain the strategies into their memories. But most importantly, sports teams never lose sight of their driving force: the desire to beat the competition.
Players on your team need to be the exact same way. They need to be thoroughly trained with clear responsibilities. They need to be hyper-focused on their roles to complete tasks to the best of their abilities. And they should never lose sight of the big picture. The desire to win should be the driving force for everything they do.
Setting clear goals
Achieving great goals takes hard work and dedication. Tackling inspiring goals can actually feel like play. You can hire the most talented, highly skilled people, but if they are bored or unmotivated or can't see the big picture, that talent will go to waste. You and your team have big goals to accomplish and it needs to always feel that way.
Setting your mind toward an objective and achieving it is always truly rewarding. After all, isn’t winning one of the best feelings?
You are aiming for victory.
The overall goal for any team is to win. To hold that shiny trophy. Get that gold medal. Hear the crowd cheering for their triumph.
Even though everyone has a different role, they are still working toward the same goals. Is everyone being a team player? You need your entire team to work together as a whole and for each one to recognize that their specialized talents are just one piece of the puzzle.
Everyone needs to be clear on the goals they need to achieve. It’s also vital that you always measure the progress of these goals. You can see where your team is falling short and where they’re thriving. As a coach, you’ll use these metrics to find the best strategy to improve shortcomings and celebrate victories.
Building a winning team starts with the coach.
Thread your vision through every part of your organization. Make sure everyone is headed in the same direction. Make sure every teammate feels competent and important enough to carry out their tasks. Everyone on your team should be a team player and an effective communicator, including you.
So, how do you build a winning team for your startup? You make sure the players are well-trained, collaborative, and in it to win!