“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ~ Ryunosuke Satoro
What do successful business owners, elite athletes, doctors, musicians, actors, and CEOs have in common? They have a team! While your team may not be as elaborate as that of a CEO of a large corporation or professional athlete, it’s interesting to learn from those who excel in their sport of choice. The common theme is they set themselves up to succeed. The most important question we can explore is who is on your team?
Professional athletes have coaches, trainers, and nutritionists to help them operate at peak performance. Every entrepreneur, small business owner and mom needs a team as well. CEOs have assistants, actors have managers, and moms have babysitters or family members (hopefully to help). Your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, teachers, and friends can all be or not be on your team.
Take a moment and consider who the people in your inner circle are? Do they inspire you, challenge you to move outside your comfort zone, and expand your thinking? Are they passionate about their life and excited to start their day? Do they free you up to add the most value as the CEO of your business? Do they have a positive attitude that says, “I can”. These are the people you want on your team.
As an entrepreneur and business owner, I understand what it means to be responsible for all the jobs from admin to business development to editing videos to chief strategist. I have several consultants that work on my team in the areas of social media, marketing, and PR. In some cases the people add great value and bring my business up a notch and other times it’s not a top 1% effort. When it doesn’t work you have to step up and be the CEO and make a change. This is a process of trial and error. While it’s your personal inner drive and motivation to succeed that propels the business forward, it’s critical to realize that it will be your top 1% team that also moves you to the next level.
Is your team working for you?
I was speaking to a client in the film industry and he was telling me about his manager. The client shared his goal of being in big budget films but his manager was limiting his potential because he was not submitting my client to these bigger films. The manager was a key part of the team but was detracting rather than adding value in this specific example. We were able to identify this pattern and my client spoke to his manager to address the issue. The interesting part is that regardless of your position or what you do, whether you are retired or running a huge company, we all have and need to assess our top 1% team on a continual basis.
Who do you want on your team? Someone who doesn’t return phone calls and delivers all of his or her projects to you late or someone who owns the project, has great ideas, and delivers on time? As the CEO of your business, it’s your responsibility to assess the cost and benefit of each decision. Often, it makes sense to hire someone to do marketing or billing projects if it will free you up to create value for your business. These are tough decisions that every entrepreneur needs to make.
Key questions to decide if someone adds value to your top 1% team (professional and personal):
Do team members…
1. Add specific expertise that you do not have?
2. Save you valuable time and free you up for other important projects?
3. Take ownership of the project?
4. Help you expand your thinking?
5. Turn ideas into actions?
6. Focus on solutions over problems?
7. Believe in you?
8. Help you grow as a person?
9. Have an “I can” mindset regardless of the situation?
In short, your top 1% team needs to inspire, challenge, re-energize, and free you up to share your greatest strengths with the world. Each person may add something different to the team.
TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: Make it a ritual to continually re-assess your top 1% team to position yourself for success. Building a top 1% team is a simple yet powerful concept that can make a positive impact for every entrepreneur.
Alissa Finerman is an Executive Coach and Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, speaker and author of Living in YOUR Top 1%. She works with managers, C-suite executives and teams to leverage strengths, shift beliefs and achieve meaningful goals. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked with Ross Stores, Petco, BNP Paribas, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Brookfield Property Partners, Neutrogena, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Dress for Success. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and follow her on Facebook
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