Managing or working as part of a strong team can mean the difference between doing fulfilling work for an excellent company, and forcing yourself to get through the day in a struggling one.
Makes sense really: it’s all about the people. When you’re managing a team or building one from scratch, it’s really important to think about how you can hire to make your company the best it can be. Robin Haak has been in the hiring seat several times and while he admits he has still got a lot to learn, here’s what’s he’s picked up about building a great team.
Hire people who are better than you are
Your team should be smarter, faster, more qualified than you are. As Michael Dell, founder of well… Dell, said: “Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people … or find a different room.”
Find a team with complementary personalities
People who are will to help each other and who get on will help the company thrive. If everyone is doggedly guarding their own territory, its hard to build something great.
Make sure your team is founded on integrity
People who feel they are working for that kind of team will enjoy coming to work every day.
“Don’t fuck up the culture”
Find an authentic company or team culture and stick to it, feel it and do it. (I would say live it, but everyone should go home once in a while).
People must have a lot of responsibility
You have to be able to trust your staff and have confidence that they can shoulder the heavier loads every so often.
Hire people who are willing to work
People who feel hard done by for having to come in at 10 and skip out of the building at 5 will not a great company make. People should work because they want to do a great job.
Hire people who want to find solutions
Someone who complains about problems with the company but has no suggestions for remedies is not the person you need on your team.
Let people work how they need to work
If your salesman only wants €10k per annum but needs a BMW 3.5 in white, fair enough. If your developers want to work from home remotely, or your BizDev person wants to attend every conference, that’s cool. Just make sure that they all can work together and respect the work that other people do.
Do things together
Sometimes you need the time just to hang out and be people. There are ups and downs in any company, but you’re a team, and will help each other through it. When you’re working hard, you’ll work full throttle, and when there are lulls you can used it as preparation time.
A good, strong, elite group of people is better than hundreds of teams and departments that don’t have a clue what to do.