Team Development

Exercise 1/6

Team Development

How does your Team compare to others in your market? Do your Team members compliment each other? Are they all equally committed? Are they capable and qualified for the role they serve?

The right Team is the key to success in virtually any endeavor. History is full of poor ideas and bad products that have been transformed into successes by the right Team. Likewise, there are a litany of great ideas and excellent products that have never launched or died on the vine because of the wrong Team. You cannot build a better mouse trap without solid Engineering, and the world will not beat a path to your door without exceptional Marketing. Nor will you have any revenues without strong Sales. Moreover, the business is likely to fail without proper Financial Management, and it probably will not thrive without visionary Leadership. No matter how great you think your product might be, your company will more than likely fail without the right Team.

An imperative step in the Sunflower Model® is building a stellar Team that can help your company develop and grow efficiently. Some questions to consider when evaluating your Team, or bringing new members into the company, are:

  • Is this person a team player? Are they focused on the overall good of the company or their own individual success? Do they offer to pitch in and help outside of their own role?

  • How passionate is this person about the purpose or mission of the company? Do they have any personal experience or interest in it? Is this company their primary focus?

  • Are they receptive to advice and critique? Do they seek feedback on how they can improve or grow in their role? How do they deal with failure?

  • Do the team members interact well professionally and personally? Do they share common interests and ideals outside of the business?

  • What does this team member contribute? Is the role they perform in line with their expertise? Is there an overlap of expertise or skills with other members of the team?

Great Teams thrive on Collective Success. The individual team members are less interested in personal glory than they are in Team success. They also tend to take a personal interest in each other’s well-being since a Team is only as strong as its weakest link and each member draws strength from the others. Asking these types of questions will help you determine whether members of your team are going to be playing for or against you.

Another important part of developing a good Team is evaluating each team member’s competencies. Knowing everyone’s competencies will help you see expertise and skill gaps within your Team. For example, if you have four team members and their core competencies revolve around product development, branding, law and strategic growth, you should consider adding a team member with a background in finance to fill that gap.

A good exercise is to gather the Team and have them each list the top three key areas of expertise or personal attributes they recognize in each of the other team members. Once everyone has finished, place each team member name across the top of a white board and write the expertise and personal attributes listed for them under their name. Discuss each team members list and consider how their list aligns with the role they perform in the company. This exercise will not only help identify the right role for each team member but can also help team members realize expertise or personal attributes which make them stand out and can help them in their role. The results may surprise you and prompt you to make some changes.