Building A Great Team Starts with its Leader

Hiring is one of the most important aspects of building a successful business. The people you bring in to scale your business can make the difference between growth and stagnation. As a business owner myself, I know hiring can be a challenge. But why is it such a huge obstacle? The answer is not just to scale your company, but to scale your company with purpose.

I was talking to a friend and mentor of mine about the idea of negativity bias the other day. Basically, our brains are like Velcro. They’ve become trained over time to recall negative experiences more easily than positive experiences. So, when we have negative experiences on-boarding people, those experiences stick with us and influence our future attitudes. The same is true for business owners when it comes to building a team.

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Holding onto Negativity

Let’s say you secure someone you think is going to be great. You get them started and while they have the experience you wanted, they lack the “go-getter” mentality you really desire on your team. Or maybe they are really enthusiastic and try hard, but they don’t have the practical skills to execute their tasks properly. When it doesn’t work out, you’re left with a negative experience you’ll bring to new hiring situations going forward.

Like it or not, those negative experiences will inform your choices in the future unless you make the effort to break out of that mindset. It can be tough work, but it’s necessary if you want to scale your company with purpose. I can tell you right now, you aren’t going to grow your company to your most efficient model without an effective team, no matter what. There are certain things you must accept and work through to develop the positive mindset to help you get the right people working with you..

Get in the Right Mindset

I have the privilege to be around a lot of companies, including my own. Every successful company I know has accomplished the difficult task of properly assembling a team. This entire process starts with you, the leader. 

If you’re frustrated with hiring, or if team building has been a disaster, it’s because of the culmination of negativity you’ve built into the hiring experience. You’re bringing that mindset into new hiring scenarios, which pollutes the experience from the outset.

You have to work through the negative associations you’ve accumulated towards hiring. Part of doing so comes with acknowledging that hiring is more of a process than a one-time thing. Focus on the bigger picture. Ultimately, getting the right person is more important than getting the person right the first time.

Allow Yourself to Strike Out 

Hiring can go wrong. Bad experiences will happen. You might get someone you think is going to be amazing only to be disappointed later. It’s not fun, but it’s not the end of the world either. It’s important to recognize that sometimes, you’re going to strike out. Once you accept this inevitability, you can focus on building the principles of hiring over time that will help you make fewer questionable choices less often. 

Trial and error is fine…as long as you’re maturing and learning as you go. Over time, build a clear and concrete plan for how you hire and what the hiring process should look like. While it might be uncomfortable, you’re constructing better hiring principles..

One Way Or Another, You’re Going to Pay

When you’re filling a role in your team, what do you hire for? Are you looking for someone who has all the experience you want from the get-go? Do you want to hire someone less experienced, so you can have a bigger role in their training? Either way you look at it, you’re making an investment.

If you’re bringing a really experienced person on board, you’ll pay for it in salary. If you’re bringing on someone greener, you’ll pay for it in training. On top of that, you still have to train for culture. You, as the business leader, have to decide what’s appropriate for the role you want to fill. 

In my experience building teams and scaling businesses with purpose, I’ve found that project managers tend to perform better in an environment where they are trained up. A lot of their job depends on how other people work, so picking someone with a great attitude and enthusiasm to learn is generally a great idea. If you are seeking to hire someone in a more technical role, like finance or programming, you might be better off with someone who has more experience.

Train for Culture

Once you’ve hired a new person on your team, you have to have a committed attitude towards training. For most business owners, training can be an even bigger issue than finding the right people in the first place. Training is essential to ensure your team can duplicate efforts and expand beyond your shadow. Then you can scale in exactly the same way.

In my world, you don’t hire A-players; you make A-players. At the outset, I want people who can dedicate their time and effort; I want people who have the right attitude paired with an ability (and willingness) to learn. As a leader, it is vital to invest in a powerful training process that will prepare your team and company for success.