Wee Wee Wee all the way to Greatness- Guest Blogger Garron Gibbs on Picking the Right Team

Last week I talked about the importance of taking stock of your resources and using what you have to get what you want/need. When I did my own resource inventory I realized I had a team, albeit a small one, but a team nonetheless. As I consider growing to greatness,I know I will need my team to grow. So, I utilize a new member of the Phreedum team and occasional guest blogger Garron Gibbs. He brings candid honesty and practicality as it pertains to personal and professional growth. This is what he has to say about picking the right team.

So you’ve just conjured up the greatest idea EVER! You’ve done your research to see how viable your idea is and the results are in your favor. You’ve gathered your resources and you’re almost ready to let the games begin! You step on the field and realize that it’s just you. You’re on the field, ready to play against a formidable team of naysayers, financial uncertainty and self-doubt and you realize that you’re playing alone. No one in the history of progressive action has won their fight alone.

So you need a team.
But how do you select the right team?

It depends on what type of team you need. If you just need a team of people to do busy work, then raise some capital and post the job on craigslist. However, if you need your team to actively participate in some type of creative/non-repetitive work then you’ll have to adjust your approach.

First, you must create a list of tangibles that you’ll need from your team. Where are you lacking? If you’re a diligent worker but can’t stand attending networking functions, you may need a publicist or marketing professional. If you’re a creative visionary but don’t know how to translate your work online, then you need a web/graphic designer. Sometimes we think we just need to clone ourselves, but that could actually stunt your growth because you may pass on someone whose unique talents is what gets you over the hump.

Now create a list of intangibles you need your team to have. Don’t settle for a list of cliche attributes such as ‘hard worker’ ‘creative’ or ‘results driven.’ You’ll benefit more by being specific. What does hardworking look like? Do you need someone willing to leave a 9 to 5 and put in an additional 5 to 6 hours working with you? Do you need someone willing to get up at 5am on a Saturday to drive with you to DC so you can attend an event? What does creative look like? Do you need someone who can creatively pitch ideas to your vendors? Do you need someone to creatively adjust your budget so you’ll have a large enough margin to re-invest in your business? Do you need someone driven to create measurable results within the community? The more questions you ask yourself, the better choices you’ll make. Also, people tend to respect a person more who can articulate exactly what they want.

Third, you need to create a list of expectations. Don’t confuse expectations with policies. Expectations are less about the day-to-day tasks and more about the overall result. When building a team, one of the intangibles you’ll want them to have is a sense of autonomy. A person who feels they are in control of their own path tends to be more engaged in their work. This benefits you because it’ll eventually save you time. So when setting expectations, speak from the point of view of what ultimately has to be done within the next year/month/week and work your way backwards to day-to-day suggestions on how to get there. If you’re running a lifestyle publication one expectation you may have is to have a member of your team provide three articles about fine dining by Friday so they’ll be ready for restaurant week. Once expectations are set, you’ll be able to measure how effectively your team performs and whether or not your work philosophies are in sync.

Finally, the most important thing to realize when selecting the right team is that a cohesive team works just like any other cohesive set of parts. For example, a brand new car is expected to work flawlessly because it’s been manufactured by experts and it has passed a set of rigorous tests. However, just like a car, in order to maintain a cohesive team, that team will have to undergo scheduled maintenance. That maintenance comes in the form of daily motivation. It’s not enough to work with self-described “self-motivated” people because even these types need a jump every now and then. Contrary to popular belief, money is not a key factor in motivating the creative/ambitious type. To keep these types motivated you’ll need to maintain a consistent environment where your team feels a sense of autonomy and purpose. (See What Drives You To Be Great on ConcreteCakes.com) If you can do this effectively, your team will exceed expectations for years to come.

It’s one thing to know what to look for when picking the right team but it’s another to thing to know where to look. I suggest you look at your list of tangibles and intangibles and make an educated guess as to where these people may be found. More importantly, make sure you can articulate the value you bring to the team. Remember, teamwork is an even exchange. You get what you give and you attract what you disseminate. Goodwill hunting.

For more information abouut Garron Gibbs visit www.ConcreteCakes.com

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