Tips for Building and Leading a Team

Tips for Building and Leading a Team

Have you ever listened to a vocal ensemble sing a piece of music?  Usually, there are several different parts being sung such as bass, tenor, alto, and soprano.  Each of these parts don’t sound quite right when isolated, but put together, they contribute something that is greater than any one part.  The same can be said about teamwork in direct sales and small business.  No one is ever a success or failure without the help of others; so building an effective team is important to the growth of your business.  Here are some things to keep in mind for both building a team and leading it well.
Building
  • Identify your ideal team.  Decide what characteristics are important for your potential team members to possess.  With this as your focus, you will be better able to find like-minded people who will be compatible with you and each other.
  • Find quality people.  You don’t want to hire just anyone to join your business, so put in place some measure to recruit smart and talented people.  For example, create an entrance interview where potential employees write down how they work best, what they consider a good reward, and how they are effectively motivated.  This creates an understanding among team members and you of how to best work together toward a common goal.
  • Provide training.  Was Babe Ruth a record-setting hitter the first time he picked up a baseball bat?  Even the most talented person doesn’t walk in on the first day knowing how to do everything right. Provide some initial training when someone is hired, and continue to offer professional development and mentor opportunities throughout your team’s time with you.
  • Implement a recruiting system.  Recruiting can be done through traditional advertisements, the use of social media, word of mouth, etc.  Find a system that works best for your business, and be open to recruits about what your business goals are.
Leading
  • Delegate.  It may be difficult to give up some control, but empowering your employees by delegating important responsibilities demonstrates your trust in their decisions and creates a positive culture of teamwork.
  • Have an open-door policy.  Your team should not hesitate to come to you for guidance, questions, and feedback.  Making yourself as accessible as possible will prevent many employees from making mistakes.
  • Challenge your team.  Encourage them to think outside the box, even if it’s a bit more than you think they can handle.  Part of being a good leader is helping people recognize and utilize their own talent.
  • Acknowledge their talents.  Although you want to create a culture of teamwork, it is also important to give credit to individuals when warranted.  Doing so will keep them motivated to continue doing good work.
Remember the famous saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  Building and leading a great team requires careful planning and continuous learning.  Surround yourself with intelligent people who are willing to work hard, and the sky’s the limit.