Do you have the team you need to grow your biz? Do you have people who understand the business and the market? Do they know how to engage your employees for optimal efficiency and effectiveness? Are the members of your inner circle committed to the company’s core values? Are they equipped to evaluate and improve key processes? Are they open to stretch as professionals to help the company grow? Do they trust one another, and do you trust them?
Start with the plan
You won’t be able to answer the question about your team until and unless you lay out your plan for your company. If you’re in a period of rapid growth, conditions in your business and in your surrounding market might be changing on a daily basis. This often deters owners from committing to a plan – thinking that it will be obsolete by next quarter. Even when conditions are fluid, you need a long-term vision and an intermediate target (3 years) to prevent yourself from taking your business down any old rabbit trail that presents itself. It’s the longer term view that helps you to determine what team you need to have in place. And in case you were wondering, Summit sets up client planning as an iterative process that should be updated quarterly to keep it accurate and relevant.
Trust is the next thing
Your senior team meetings are the places where anything and everything needs to be able to be brought up, discussed candidly, and resolved with who is doing what and when. If your team members don’t trust one another your interaction might be deceptively conflict free. It’s not that there is no disagreement. They don’t speak up about the real deal because they are uncertain about the consequences of doing so. How are you going to grow your business when you – and they – don’t know what the real issues are? And how are you going to execute on your plan if your team is only playing at being bought into your company goals?
Values vs. productivity
When you need to take stock of your leaders, construct a matrix where the x-axis represents productivity and the y-axis represents values alignment. Your ideal senior leader is high in values alignment and high in productivity. Values are difficult to change, so if you need a trade-off to make your team, go with the individuals who are in alignment with the company values. You can always train for skills. If you know your plan requires some additions to your team, you can choose whether to grow them in-house or buy the skills you need through recruitment. Either way, values alignment is critical to your decision if you want to bring on or bring up leaders who will deploy their skills in a manner that serves the company.
Your senior team will make or break your ability to execute your strategy and operate with values alignment. This means that no matter how long you have been together, or how technically skilled they might be, you have to choose the person or the plan. Under the auspices of a plan, they are aligned and productive, or they are trained, or they are warned, or they are out. Your business is counting on you to do this. And your results will show whether you did it or not.