Building Your Dream Team

By on February 1, 2017

Something I get asked a lot is how to craft the best team of people to create a perfect working environment. I recently watched the Office Small Business Academy episode on How to Build Your Dream Team which included guests Les McKeown, best-selling author and CEO of Predictable Success, and Jovana Teodorovic, Head of People and Culture at Rover.com. On the webcast, the contributors discussed the above topic at length – if you are looking to add to staff, or if you’re trying to figure out how to increase workforce productivity from your existing team, watch the Office Small Business Academy webcast hosted by Carol Roth…and make sure to take LOTS of notes!

With some help from tips in the webcast, here’s how I would approach the task of building my dream team and the people I see as the indispensable core:

  1. The Visionary – This is usually the founder of the company. They have a 30,000 foot view of the business and industry. They also hate the day-to-day running of the business. At best, they are Winston Churchill; at worst, they are an arsonist looking to burn the business to the ground.
  2. The Operator – Hired by the Visionary, the Operator is a hard-charging personality that gets things done. They can be found in the “weeds” of the company dealing with the daily operations.
  3. The Processor – They make sure the numbers work. Processors are analytical types who can be cold and aloof, but they are critical to the success of almost any company.
  4. The Synergist – They are the glue that binds the rest of the leadership team together. They are always looking out for everyone else. In many companies that are struggling to succeed, the missing link is usually the Synergist.

When hiring your next employee, look for someone who will bring balance to your existing team. The biggest mistake business owners make is trying to hire all superstars. All Operators and no Processors or Synergists means your team is unbalanced; it will be difficult to generate long-term success.

After Carol’s interview with Les, she spoke to Jovana Teodorovic from Rover.com. She gave at least a dozen excellent points on hiring the right people for your team.

Here are five of my favorite tips:

  • Interviewing is a learned skill; it requires a lot of training. Don’t have people interviewing candidates for open positions if they don’t know what they are doing.
  • Diversity is important in any organization. It gives the company a well-rounded approach to problem-solving and strategy.
  • In the interview, have candidates answer real-life questions about the job they want with your company.
  • Small business owners wait too long to fire someone; you are better served moving sooner rather than later.
  • Make sure the onboarding process of your new hires is a smooth one to avoid post-decision depression.

One of my goals for 2017 is to find educational content that helps me run a better business. Whether it’s reading blog posts, participating in tweetchats, or listening to webcasts, I am proactively looking for experts who can help me avoid mistakes and take advantage of opportunities this year.

One piece of helpful content that I found is the Office Small Business Academy I mentioned above. It’s a monthly web series created to assist entrepreneurs in all areas of running a business. The program, hosted by Carol Roth, includes advice from fellow entrepreneurs and top subject matter experts.

Les McKeown talked extensively about the four styles of leadership that are almost always found in every successful company. Most leaders are a combination of the four styles. In other words, a person can be part Visionary, part Processor. In order to find out your style and the style of your team leaders, Les suggests taking a 5-7 minute quiz which can be found here.

A bonus to the webcast was information on Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365 that brings people and projects together to help your team be more productive. I thought it did a nice job tying together the content shared on the webcast.

Above are some of the numerous nuggets of great advice I wrote down while watching the webcast. I highly recommend viewing it on your own in the event you find something I missed.

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About Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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