Find Your Yin And Yang In Team Building
When I started my agency back in 1989, I’m not sure I was thinking about the concept of a team. It was very much my company, driven by my vision with two smart, capable people to support that vision and complement my areas of expertise.
Deutsch: Yin Yang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As my company grew, my concept of the value of a team expanded.
Today, people often ask me, “How does someone create the best team for success”?
What they are often surprised to hear in my response that there is not a right answer or a formula that helps to create the perfect team, but there are always tips and advice that experience can give.
As Warren Buffett wisely noted at the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Conference this year, “Fear is incredibly contagious. Confidence comes back through the door one step at a time”.
When picking your team for a startup, one bad choice can put you two steps back instead of one step forward. Always fully consider your decisions.
A recent webinar hosted by the Committee of 200, a women’s group compiled of top executives from around the world, also weighed in on the subject of teams. The group included Anesa Chaibi, President & CEO of HD Supply and Facilities Maintenance; Roz Alford, Principal of ASAP Solutions Group, LLC; Karen Greenbaum, Partner of Pierce Consulting Partners; Susan Nethero, Founder of Intimacy; and myself.
With resounding agreement, the group expressed that the key step to creating a team is to understand your own strengths and weaknesses before hiring.
An entrepreneur needs to be realistic and realize it is impossible to be perfect in every aspect of business. Creating a strategy and seeing the gaps in the business plan will only allow for greater opportunity to fill those gaps.
The group also noted that while it is often easier to hire team members who are most like you in personality, it’s critical to not get stuck in the trap. Instead, find your personality “yin and yang” for the greatest harmony. Never take for granted the opportunity to have someone on your team willing to ask, “Have we thought about it this way?”
Early in my career, I discovered a useful tool to help find someone willing to think a different way. When I first joined a team-based work environment, the company required the employees to take a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The exam asked simple questions that eventually gave a four-letter personality type. There are 16 different types overall and while it is simple, my employer and I were both able to gain insight into my strengths and weaknesses for the job ahead.
Today, I still use the Myer’s Briggs in my office to help building our creative, executive and account teams.
Anesa Chaibi, President and CEO at HD SupplyFacilities Maintenance, added an excellent finalizing point to the conversation.
Her first point was to always understand the culture of your business before hiring—both in-house and in international cultures. It is an easy gauge whether someone will assimilate into your work environment or not.
Her next point was this: “You should never be afraid to hire the best talent – someone smarter than you in many different areas. Surrounding yourself with those individuals will make you collectively (leader and team) be that much better.”
The best way to challenge yourself in your endeavors is to have someone challenging you to work harder. Find the team that you think will push you toward success.