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Published 14 September 2011 13:24, Updated 29 September 2011 07:53
Every company is only as good as its staff and one of the biggest challenges a boss has to face is finding the right people to build a business.
When I started Yellow Brick Road, I was fortunate to bring a number of staff from my previous company over to start again. These were people who shared my vision but coming across was a big commitment on their part. I was lucky because I had some of the best people I had ever worked with in my corner and they trusted me.
Trust is a big thing in building a business. Employees have to be able to trust their boss to make the right decisions on their behalf. Bosses have to be able to trust their staff to execute the plan to make the business succeed. Both parties have to feel confident that one is going to do right by the other.
Getting the people you want on board is one thing but creating a team is even tougher. It’s a real challenge because there are so many factors that must be understood and sorted for it to work.
Hosting The Apprentice was a great lesson in team building for me because every day the contestants worked to try to balance their own personalities with a bunch of strangers and find the best ways to work together. They had to develop the motivation to function as a team, to become a unit and to succeed as one. Sometimes it worked and other times it definitely didn’t but what I learned is that you can’t succeed or even function without finding a balance.
Personalities play the biggest role in a group dynamic because unlike skills they aren’t something you can sharpen or improve upon. Personalities are innate, so it’s best to cultivate them by creating a team of people that complement one another. Some people are visionaries and others are executors and different people have different strengths and weaknesses. It is the dynamic of a well-constructed team that makes big things happen. The challenge is to cultivate that dynamic.
When you’re building a business, the most important thing you can do is communicate your philosophy and continue to remind your staff why they are getting out of bed every day. The most successful companies around the globe are the ones that make their entire team feel like they are an integral part of the success of the company. It’s about creating a culture of accomplishment and sharing in the wins.
A business culture is cemented when an entire company, large or small, feels like it has a real purpose. It’s that “all-in” mentality of working towards the same goals, having the same fears and enjoying the same successes that morphs a company into a corporate family.
The greatest businesses in the world aren’t successful because of the efforts of a savvy chief executive. That person is the leader, so it is their job to ensure people are as motivated as they are. A company’s inspiration and drive has to resonate down to the people who turn up to face another day. Despite the difficulties, the obstacles and the traumas any of them may face, if they share that passion, they’ll show up and get the job done. These people believe in hard work and achievement because reaching goals is a personal driver in all of us. Without that motivation, there would be nothing.
The interactions between a person and the team, the dynamic of that team within its group and the way that group fits in with the rest of the company will determine the ultimate success for the business, not just a savvy CEO. This balance runs true in any successful personal or professional outcome, whether it’s running a business, or training to win the grand final. And those interactions are also what can make it all come crashing down!
People drive an organisation because they create its inspiration, creativity, motivation and success. That’s what’s important. The profits, the revenue, the ranking, the boasting, all follow. But what you are left with the next day apart from a trophy, or a bonus, or a hangover and some funny stories is the constant reminder of what’s important.
An organisation is only as good as the sum of its parts – the people, their virtues and how they practise them day in and day out. When you take your people and their personalities and make them feel like they truly belong to something, that is when the magic really starts to happen.