Are you a self-made man or a self-made woman? Congratulations! You’re wrong. As an entrepreneur, the first thing you have to lose is this strange sense that your business success is all yours. This has never been the case at any point in history. All business owners got to be successful because they had good teams and they had societies that were built to allow them to be successful.
Did you achieve your own success with no help from individuals or from society at large? So, if you time-traveled back to the Middle Ages, you would have achieved the same business success among the feudal lords and kings? I don’t think so. You’re not fooling anyone by thinking otherwise, except maybe yourself.
You’re not only annoying everyone who’s on the left side of the political spectrum, but you’re making everyone nearby roll their eyes. You really did do a good job when you succeeded in business, but don’t take credit for all of it unless you want to look like you’re really arrogant and clueless. More to that point, if you think this way, you’re going to end up hiring teammates that aren’t going to pull their weight.
You need to put together a good team, which is the cornerstone of any great business. Having a great team partly means having the right mix of personalities.
On any team, you should have people who have their eyes on the goal, their eyes on the process, their eyes on other teammates, and their own ideas. Some people are really good at coming up with the ideas that you’ll use in order to put everything into practice. Other people are really good at putting those ideas into practice in the first place, and they tend to be bad at coming up with their own ideas, to begin with, so you need both groups represented on the team.
Other people are really good at coming up with finished products that are going to work. Then there are the people who really look after everyone else on the team to make sure that they’re doing well: these folks will act like your people managers even if you’re not really paying them to be people managers. If you have this mix of personalities on your team, then you’re actually going to get something done.
Having a team full of ‘people’ people isn’t going to work. These folks will get so nervous about offending everyone and will try to respect everyone’s feelings so much that they’re never going to get any work done, and neither is the rest of the team. People who just focus on the solution usually don’t even know how to get there, and they have a tendency to get really impatient if the goal isn’t there.
People who just focus on the process might want to extend the process indefinitely, and that’s only going to bother everyone else and cause the entire project to fail. People who come up with great ideas and who can’t follow through with any of them are just going to be the people with smart ideas for the rest of their lives instead of smart actions. You need to have all of these people on your team and then some, and then you’re going to have a balanced team that can do anything.
You’ll have the teammate who stops interpersonal conflicts from getting bad enough to undermine the project. You’ll have the teammate who tells the group what to do and where to go. You’ll have the teammate who makes sure the group is accomplishing enough. You’ll also have the teammate who can lead everyone in new directions. Obviously, lots of people are not just members of one of these types and only one of these types. However, people do tend to have dominant personality types in business, and as an entrepreneur, you need to be good enough at managing who has what.
Obviously, you’re going to be a member of one of these groups yourself. Are you the idea guy or gal? Are you always focused on the product or the process? Do you prioritize what’s going on with your teammates? Look at yourself carefully and try to decide what you need to do in order to balance out your own personality traits, and then you really will have the team that you want.