Building Highly Effective Teams to Grow Businesses
Here is a little piece from the Innovate program.
Something we talk about a lot.
Something that goes into that killer pitch.
We are talking about a team. It's everybody's favorite thing. I know, in high school, middle school, college, whatever, everyone loved group projects. They were fantastic. Everybody helped out each other and you got an A. You loved it. You had a great time. … OK, probably not. Most people hate group projects because they're really difficult.
Here is the difference about your real life, about your business life, about pursuing your passion, that's completely different from high school. Maybe in high school or college, you were lucky enough to have friends in the class and you did your group project together. You probably goofed around a lot and didn't really get it done together. More likely, your team was chosen for you. You were smashed together. You didn’t pick the roles. You didn't get to figure out … this person's good at this or this person's good at that. You had no choice. You had no agency. You were given a group of people and you said, "Okay, we got to make this work." It was a real test of your ability to work with others.
So, in real life and in business, we get to choose. We get to choose our associates. We get to choose our friends, for real, not just out of this small group of people in our high school or class. We can choose. We get to nurture those relationships. We build those relationships through little projects and engagements like putting on an event. We do something small and say, "Hey, yeah, I work really well with this person. This person is really driven like me," or, "This person's really laid back like I am." Whatever it is, you have the ability to pick those people. You have the ability to pick somebody whose skills compliment your own. So, if you're the business person, there's a tech person that can tolerate you. If you're a tech person, there's a business person that wants to work with you. We can pick the team that makes sense for us.
You have the ability to choose. Don't get stuck with somebody. Why is building a team so important? If you have an idea, why can't you just do it yourself? You're so smart. You're amazing. You can get it going, right? The most simple way I've heard it is this: if you can't make $10,000 with your idea, you don't have a good team. If you can't do it with the team that you have (you can't make $10,000) refactor, go back to the drawing board. We're trying to actually create early revenue with the people that we have. Most startup founders, entrepreneurial teams, pitch contestants, startup weekend teams, fail to meet that criteria. They couldn't make a dollar. If I gave them $10, they couldn't make it into $11 with the people they have.
Execution and growth are why teams matter. Picking the right people matters. So, let's get into this. Creating a functional, scalable business requires a team with the right skills and roles. Not just random people. Entrepreneurs might start alone leveraging their sole skills and experience to attract talent and build a team. Building a team is an early indicator of success. We're constantly going back and looking at our personal goals or business goals. A lot of entrepreneurs have an initial goal of attracting talent. I hear, “I want to work with great people” or “I need to be able to hire great people” or “I need a great co-founder”. Other people have a goal of attracting investment which absolutely require a stellar team.
If you're participating in a pitch contest, competing in innovation challenges, applying for a grant, pitching to investors, or you're just working to grow your business, building a team shows traction. If you can't sell one other person the vision of your business, how are you going to convince a judge or an investor to buy into your business? If you can't work with a team, how can you run a company? We're constantly future pacing and saying, "What does success look like?"