Team Building for Entrepreneurs
When I began my online business back in 2006 I hadn’t a clue as to how to manage a team. Building the right group of people eluded me and the result was that I attempted to do everything myself. When I did bring an outside person aboard my skills as a team leader were weak and ineffective. Finally, I started outsourcing some of my tasks, specifically technical and clerical ones, to those who were more experienced in these areas than I would ever be. My time was better spent on the few activities I was good at, which included mentoring new online entrepreneurs, writing and publishing, teaching and training, and creating information products. Everything else would be accomplished by one or more of my team members.
Michael Hyatt has recently written a post called Camels vs. Stallions: Knowing the Difference Can Eliminate the Friction on Your Team where he addresses the issue of team members being either managerial or entrepreneurial and how to help make your business run more smoothly by utilizing everyone’s specific skills. In it he says…
The trick is making sure they’re both going the same direction. Success requires integrating their unique contributions.
How can we do that? Here are three steps that enable the manager-enterpreneur distinction to drive success instead of frustration:
- Recognize. It doesn’t take a zoologist to tell that camels and stallions are different. But organizations sometimes try to see managers and entrepreneurs through the same lens. The truth is they’re different—usually all the way down to basic temperament. Because they’re different, they both make contributions unique to them.
- Appreciate. Next, we need to value these unique contributions. Appreciation is a critical factor for team success. Without managers, entrepreneurs don’t have anyone to hold down the shop. Without entrepreneurs, managers don’t have business for the shop. Until each can appreciate the other’s contribution, they’ll work at cross purposes.
- Mobilize. Recognition and appreciation should lead to empowerment. It makes no sense to force stallions to carry freight or camels to race ahead on scouting missions. Success is only possible when teams mobilize members to do what they do best at least the majority of the time.
Managers and entrepreneurs are both prone to different mistakes. Managers may be tempted to see business as serving their rules. Entrepreneurs may be tempted to pursue business that ultimately hurts the organization.
I recommend that you read through Michael’s post and absorb the wisdom he shares there. I can speak from experience when I say that everything changed in my own business once I had my team building skills working for me. Currently I have fourteen people in half a dozen countries helping me to achieve my goals, and they each work to their strengths in the overall scheme of things.
What have been your experiences with team building as a small business owner or entrepreneur?