Most teams don’t work and rarely make it through the first few months.
That’s quite a statement.
I am not saying this because I don’t think teams can’t work, but I am saying this because I believe most wannabe team leaders don’t know how teams work.
I see this over and over again. One starts with the idea to start a business, feels like she needs the help and support of others. Gathers a few people together and then the fight begins.
What happens next depends on the team members.
If they are outgoing and dominant, the fight soon starts, and it often ends with a bang.
If they are more of the quiet nature, they slowly drift away, leaving the initial member frustrated and alone.
Why does this happen so often?
In my experience, the biggest problem is the reason the team was created in the first place.
If you want to work on a project or start a business and you’re thinking about a team, you should be clear about why you want to create a team. Let’s have a look at some of the possible reasons:
You do not want to work alone.
In this case, you need to figure out why this is. You could go to a co-working space where you will be surrounded by like-minded people if that helps you. You can talk about your business and your struggles, and you might get some good feedback without having to share your success with others.
You believe you need people with skills you don’t have.
If you’re looking for a secretary and a salesperson, outsource it. You don’t need a team member for that. There are many good ways to do this, and there are many people out there waiting for you to call them.
The biggest mistake I see people do is coming up with an idea and trying to sell it to others in the hope that they will follow and become team members.
Let’s be clear; you don’t sell to team members. You sell to customers!
Customers are not team members.
A team member is someone who believes in your idea and wants to help you make it happen. For that, you need to have an idea and you need to be able to articulate your idea. You need to show your engagement, and you need to be willing to go for it alone. You don’t start a business based on being able to have a team together. You start it because you believe in yourself and your ability to create amazing products and services that will help your target market. This belief attracts others who understand your ideas and want to help you achieve them. You’re the magnet that attracts your team members because of your beliefs and energy.
Creating a team is not about selecting some people.
If you want a successful team, you will need people that love your ideas and believe in the same things you believe.
For that, you need to be clear what your idea is, and you have to be able to communicate it.
It is very rare that some people come together just on the idea “We should do something”. That is not enough. You and your team need a focus point, and it must be something they all want to achieve.
A team member believes in your idea and uses his or her skills to turn this idea into a real thing. You, as a team leader, provide the space and support for the team member to thrive and put her skills towards the cause.
The team starts with you. If you don’t know what you want and if you have no direction and purpose, you shouldn’t expect anyone else to have this.
Follow your idea and allow the space for others to join you on your journey, and soon, you will have a team that understands and knows where to go.
That’s how you create a successful team.
What is your experience as a team leader or team member?