No successful big business owner is an island. You can keep a small business running by yourself, but if you are ready to achieve growth, then you need a team surrounding you.
Your team has to be the right for your business. Each individual needs to fit into your culture and they need to have the skills the company actually needs and that no one else on the team has.
Shweta Jhajharia of The London Coaching Group has spent 17 years coaching small businesses and has observed six elements that distinguish the truly winning teams from the failing ones.
1. Strong leadership
It is important to hire team members who are better than in you the areas that they are hired for. This means as a team, you can achieve more. However, if you are unable to lead them and direct the flow of that team work towards the goals of the business, their strengths will be either unused or wasted.
2. A common goal
No matter what your skills as a leader, if you do not know what path you are leading them down, you are not taking them down the most successful route.
Everyone on your team should know, clearly and precisely, what they are aiming for individually, and how their goals contribute to the larger goal of the business.
3. Rules of the game
What you are aiming for here is a 'loose-tight culture'. You should set some clear boundaries for what is acceptable and then within those boundaries, the culture should be loose and innovative. The best teams have the room to be creative, to take risks and to try new things, while keeping within limits of what is non-negotiable in order to ensure that innovation is directed towards results and not wasted energy or worse, negative outcomes.
4. Action plan
Knowing where you are headed is different from knowing how you are going to get there. You are not managing a team, you are managing their activities. This means you need to lay out a plan for the business and then, importantly, share that plan with your team. Sit down with them and run over how that cascades down to each of them. Where are their responsibilities? What are they accountable for? What do they have ownership of?
5. Supporting and encouraging of risk taking
You have to let your team know that it is ok to try something new, take a risk, make a mistake – have fun. We want to enjoy our work and doing the same thing over and over is not going to achieve that. In fact, growth more often than not comes from your motivated employees seeing opportunities that you may have missed otherwise.
6. Effective management
The final element is understanding that management is what pushes a team forward. Leadership pulls a team together, but it is through management that you accelerate them.
The distinction between management and leadership is an important one that many business owners miss. In a nutshell, management is about making sure that the preparations are in place, that the systems are operating properly and that the proper leverage is being obtained to drive the team and the business forward.
Where your leadership is in explaining to your team WHY they are doing what they do, your management comes in when you are explaining to them HOW they are achieving the goals of the company.
There are, of course, hundreds of elements that affect how and why a team fails or succeeds. However, by keeping a focus on these 6 elements, you will build a very strong foundation for creating the kind of team that scores goals and wins results for your business.