It’s no secret, you are only as good as the team of people you surround yourself with. In business, much like in sport, no one man can carry a team to success. So ask yourself, how do you build a successful team?
Over recent weeks I have found myself listening to a lot of podcasts and interviews from the controversial academic, Jordan Peterson. Now, he is well known for his brutal honesty and unwavering points of view on just about every social issues. One of the many issues he often finds himself debating is the whole ‘left vs. right’ issue and how he believes that in order for society to be prosperous and productive, there needs to be a fine balance between the different points of view.
Before we go any further, just to be sure, we’re not getting into a discussion about politics and the ‘left vs. right’, because that would require a whole magazine, but it has got me thinking about BBT and the different personalities that make up our close-knit team.
Coming from a sports background, I’m no stranger to operating as a member of a team and all the cliches that come with them, but looking at it now, those same ideas have carried over into BBT.
A team is a melting pot of different personalities, backgrounds, skill levels and experiences – they are wonderful things. I look around our office and no one is the same. We have alpha personalities, the quieter types, methodical thinkers, people who thrive when the going gets tough and an Australian… But, this melting pot of individuals has allowed us to grow into the agency we are now.
I’m sure we all understand the significance of building your team with a wide array of people. However, what is just as important as building a team with diverse personalities, is the processes and structures you put in place that allow everyone to thrive and utilise their individuality. Here are a few of the practices we implement that allow us to tap into our melting pot.
Before we are able to tap into these different personalities, we must create an open and supportive environment that encourages everyone to speak up and voice their opinions. For us, we are at our best when our team is collaborating and where no one person dominates. Sure there will be times where someone needs to take the lead but in most circumstances, everyone has an equal voice.
This is something that will need to come from you as the leader. You will need to actively encourage your team to share their thoughts and ideas. For us, we do this by having weekly meetings where we keep everyone in the loop on projects and what’s coming up. But more importantly, we’ve recently made these meetings less about the work, in order to open the floor up for people to share what they are seeing within the business. The result… we have taken a few massive strides forward and cleaned a few things up, which has allowed our entire team to thrive and focus on being productive instead of battling old processes.
Outside of building an environment that gives everyone an equal voice, look at the tools you use around your office, are they holding people back or facilitating productivity? If you find they are hindering your team’s ability to produce results, it is time to switch thing up. Whether you implement dedicated project management tools, such as Asana, or simply ask everyone to keep their calendars updated, try to keep everything as clean as possible to ensure there is no wasted movement due to poor organisation.
As we have grown, I have learnt that if BBT is to achieve anything, I need to empower my team to make decisions and trust their instincts. I talk to a lot of business owners about this point and it is something that we all grapple with. However, it is the key to achieving success. We need to remember that our team are the experts in their field, they understand more about front-end developing, Google Analytics or UI/UX design then we do, so we can’t stand in their way. By giving them the freedom to fly, it shows them you trust their abilities and that they have the power to create great things.
Lastly, get to know your team outside of the office setting. Remember not everything has to be deadlines and client meetings, get to know what makes them tick, their values and interests. This is not only a great way to show your team you appreciate them but you never know what secret talents you might uncover which could be useful down the line.
The people you surround yourself with and how you nurture them will largely determine how successful your business will become. Thus, as business leaders, we must take the time to build the team we need and then empower them to do great things. Because at the end of the day, our team will be the driving force behind our business’ success.