Building a Team Or Who’s on the Bus

Building a team. ahhhhhh the $64k question!

Probably the most important part of ensuring you get to your endgame is how to build a team and ensure they are on your bus.

So let’s start at the beginning. It’s important that the team you have or have inherited are in your camp and will buy into your and the companies vision for the future (assuming you have a vision). This is about having the right people, sat in the right seats and all looking forward to going to the same destination.

Types of Team Players

Ultimately, you will have 3 types of individuals within your team:

  • Those engaged who will follow
  • Those dis-engaged but will follow with some guidance
  • Those that are dis-engaged and will never follow

Ok. Lets focus on the most important shall we? Those that are not engaged and will never follow? No matter what you do they will never buy into the concept of what you want to achieve. The traits are identified as follows when building teams:

  • They may swear unwavering loyalty to the business and proclaim how hard they work with little or no effect.
  • They try and offer a “smoke and mirrors” answer to any question you ask.
  • Every hint of change is met with subtle or even dramatic confrontation.
  • They undermine your strategy outside of your presence consistently…… normally with the “end is nigh” scenerio.
  • Everything is wrong, nothing seems to work…….but they would never dream of leaving as they are commited to the business.
  • “I’m too old for this……”
  • “Its not the way we have done it before”.
  • “We’ve always done it like this”.
  • Once the meeting ends…….their meeting starts.
  • Performance is woeful but they are still in the business.
  • Accountability – once questioned on performance you will be the bully!

So how do you identify the shirkers? Try this.

Measure Your Team

If you think of a scale of 1 to 10. Along that scale 1 represents least likely to change/improve and 10 represents total change/improvement. Now rank your team from 1 to 10. In the short, medium and long term it is easy and more fruitful to move an employee from a 5 to a 7……than a 2 to a 5. If an employee is half way there…….your half way there to building your team!

building a team with change management scale

© Follow The Leader 2020

The biggest mistake is to pour all your energy into the poor performers……this will evaporate your time, energy and turn off the members of the team who are performing.

How To Build a Team

Once you have identified who you want to replace act fast. Recruitment from start to finish can take up to 6 months+ and considering you are still trying to hit your KPIs for the financial year thats a huge chunk of time taken up finding the right replacements and building team you want. Ultimately, plan your recruitment strategy:

The Right Team

Overall, it is vital you have a team built on self disciplined. These are the team members who consistently demonstrate behavioural traits that make your job easier:

  • Reliable – they turn up on time day after day
  • Honest – if they mess up they tell you they have messed up
  • High work ethic – yes they do stay late to work on a problem
  • Humble – nobody is bigger than the team
  • Pro-active – they sense the issue and are already working on a answer
  • Postive – Positive – Postive

No doubt in my career I have employed people, and in honesty, “winged it” just to fill a hole, hoping the employee would come good via a shimmer of light they demonstrated at the interview.

In reverse, I have stuck with employees far too long knowing full well that they were incapable of the job requirements. Why? In most cases the financial year is in full throttle and I needed a full head count. If nothing else download this mantra and post it on your office wall:

hope is not a strategy when building a team

But if you have a plan….a good recruitment plan, hope will diminish by 90%. Recruitment/replacement is always a leap of faith for all of us so just make sure you have a good supportive HR team behind you and a MD/CEO who is aware of your strategy and is in full support of your plan. The road will be a little rocky. At times you will drive home thinking “what I have done”….but press on!

The Long Game

Yes there will be friction, Yes there will be upheaval & YES you will be the devil incarnate……but always remember the soothing thoughts of the actor Robert De Niro:

Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt“.

You have your destination & the right people sat in the right seats on the bus. Don’t be scared about stopping the bus and letting off the wrong people. Then continue your journey. Building a team takes time.

Act now……’ll thank yourself for it later on!

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