Leveling Up Your Life

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“A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.”

Who doesn’t roll their eyes a little when they hear “team building,” am I right? Team building is usually constructed around hokey challenges consisting of forced ice-breakers, trust falls, and human knots. Does anyone remember The Office episode centered around team building…? Yikes…

But building a killer team should be your number one priority as a business owner. What employees (and bosses alike) fail to recognize is a team’s ability to work towards a common vision. Contrary to popular belief, I’m only ONE person. One is a small number for greatness – for success. I cannot create my vision for a company without a team.

Build Up vs. Level Up

People in college told me that I looked like someone who would own a 500+ employee company someday. I took that as a huge compliment, and it is what fueled the fire of my success for a long time.

But deep down, I didn’t want to run a 500+ people business. My dream team is small, but to me, it’s the perfect size. You don’t need 500 employees to get the job done.

I actually read a Forbes article recently explaining Jeff Bezos’ (Amazon) philosophy on teams: If a team cannot be fed by two pizzas, your team is much too large. What a rule! I am a stronger believer that smaller teams are far more productive, engaged, and efficient.

There is No “I” in Team

Leaders should understand what is needed to achieve goals within the company. When everyone is working towards a common goal, we can all achieve greatness.

Just because marketing and sales are not working on the same particular project does not mean they are not working towards a common goal. Everyone can make contributions to the company’s success with their unique qualities. That’s why you hired them and brought them onboard – because each member of your team is a part of the puzzle piece.

Also – leaders (whether that be CEOs, managers, supervisors, or coordinators) are still team members. You are part of the team – you just happen to be the one in charge.

With great power comes great responsibility. Yes, your leadership role is very different and may carry far more weight. However, if you refuse to carry your weight, the entire team will fail.

Living the Dream (Team)

My entire brand focuses on “living the dream,” because that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing.

But guess what? My team IS my dream…and yours should be too! Here are 3 tips on creating your dream team:

1. Role Focus

Creating your dream team should be a thorough process. In my hiring process, I make potential candidates take a personality quiz and send me the results. It helps me discover what kind of person they are and what qualities they can bring to the group.

Hiring people just to have bodies onboard is NOT the way to build a dream team. You want your employees to stay, right? Candidates who are not motivated or willing to learn do not make good employees.

Invest in people who know (and enjoy) their role within the company. More importantly, place value on this role. A team that does not feel valued does not work hard. You would not have your dream team without these employees – they want to feel like they matter. Their tasks may be ever-changing, but every employee wants to come to work with a purpose.

2. Communication is Key

I know this may sound like a no brainer, but communication is the key to a successful team. You cannot show you value your team without clear communication. On that note, I always tell my team I am an open book – ask me anything. I will be completely honest with you.

Every Friday, I have 1-on-1 meetings with each member of my team. This gives us the opportunity to communicate effectively on short/long term goals for the position, challenges, and things they may want to change.

Yes, I ask my employees if they are happy on a weekly basis. If they aren’t happy, what can I do to change that?

Unhappy people do not make a great team. Unhappy people do not work well together. Unhappy people will not stay.

3. Set Goals

Like I said above, I help each team member create short/long term goals for their position. Every Friday, we also have a team round-up called “Bright Ideas.”  I ask my team what ideas they would like to implement moving forward and we brainstorm together. All of us – marketing, sales, development, customer success, etc. This is so we can all be on the same page in communicating effectively and motivating each other.

Creating milestones and deadlines does not and should not hinder success. You and your team should not be creating unreachable goals during these meetings. Setting clear goals creates a foundation for everyday tasks and responsibilities. This also creates ways in which team members can interact and work on projects together.

Celebrate your success as a team. Work together, and great things will happen. Teamwork really does make the dream work.

Keep Living the Dream…