They say it takes a village to raise a child. In most cases, it take a team to build a strong company, just as it takes a village to raise a child. Solo entreprenuerships are more rare than we think. To really build a company which will thrive and grow, we need people.
At the same time, what a company doesn’t need is people who aren’t willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. Every company at one time or another has one of those “star players”. The hog the ball, take all the best shots and rarely support their team mates. In the short haul, this can create some victories, but over the long haul it will fracture the team and things will begin to break down.
No matter how many “wins” that star player adds to the bottom line, is it really worth the affect he or she has on the rest of the team? I would say my answer is no.
Its also important that while we want a positive and hopeful attitude in our companies, there are times when we have to deal with tough issues. Computers break down, someone makes a mistake, a disgruntled customer can plumate us into chaos. Life is not always rosie, and we have to embrace a culture that acknowledges that things can go bad, and if we work together we can fix them. Learn from the things that go wrong, but don’t dwell on them. And celebrate the victories. Remember to thank people for a job well done, and don’t spend too much time dwelling on mistakes. If someone consistently has a bad attitude and is not carrying their weight, find out why.
I see instances where time and time again, people are going through personal struggles, and rather than letting others know, they keep trying to push forward. If they feel they can share and get support from their team, things often get turned around. If things still can be turned around, then it’s time to cut them loose.
We all know that company tone and culture comes from the top, but it’s important to pay tattention to the people on the front lines of our busineses. They may see things that we don’t see in our offices. Find out what’s working for them, see how their interactions are working with their customers and take their feedback seriously.
Have a mix of experienced and new people. Let them learn from each other.