Sunday, February 04, 2007

Build a Great Team

You Are the Quarterback!

There comes a point in time in every business professional's career when he or she is tired of being a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. At that point, they look to take their business to another level, either to create more income, more balance in their life, or both. When you find yourself in this situation, you must know it's time to become an employer.

The first rule of teamwork is that a team can never be completely dependent upon any one individual. The most common mistake made is the leader of the team failing to delegate activities, therefore stunting the growth of the team.

The next important point to remember is that as a leader, part of your job is to build a team of decision makers. This can only be done by observing, directing and training your associates at a very high level. As a leader you are responsible for the job security of your people. The clearer the vision of the leader, the more people will follow. When building your team, as the chief, you must lead by example. One of the great problems leaders have is failing to practice what they preach!

Each team must have a Visionary and a Manager. A single person should not hold these positions. In many cases, one person tries to fill both roles. This is the classic case of a workaholic. This is the type of person who puts in 60 or 70 hours a week and has no balance in their life. You must let go of this attitude if you wish to achieve success in building a strong team and surround yourself with supporters. Surround yourself with people whom you can trust, and whom you know will get the job done. You must engage yourself with people who will follow your lead. Your classic implementation person can attain the results that you, the visionary, are seeking to achieve in your business plan.

You are the quarterback of your team, and as such, you must have people around you who will protect you and block for you. Make sure that your working environment is enjoyable and satisfying, because this is the place where your people spend most of their waking hours. They spend more hours in the workplace than anywhere else in their lives. If this is not a satisfying, gratifying and enjoyable place, how can you expect your employees to flourish?

With this in mind, make sure you avoid the temptation of micromanaging. While delegating is a critical part of your role as the Manager or Visionary, keeping too close an eye on your employees makes them feel untrusted and hesitant. Let employees know you expect them to make some mistakes, but that you trust them to excel at their work without you hounding them or watching their every move. You'll be grateful for an employee who isn't afraid to use their own initiative, and who has confidence in themself.

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