HM Insights

Building the Dream Team

Article provided by Lucy-Rose Walker, Co-Founder of Misadventures in Entrepreneuring 

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Most entrepreneurs dream of the day that they build a team. Of a time that they’re not doing it all, when they have someone to bounce ideas off and carry some of the emotional burden. And a time when their business has grown enough that it simply warrants more people! It’s the holy grail of business building to lead or thrive in your role as part of a high performing team.

Yet when the time comes for entrepreneurs to bring other people into their business, decisions are often not thought through well enough or the entrepreneur and the business doesn’t end up getting the maximum value from the choices that are made. Often the main reason for this is that the entrepreneur either tries to fill a traditional job role and has misunderstood who (or what skills) they actually need to complement themselves and get their team flying.


Spent time figuring out who you really need? Not what you think you need?

We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve heard an entrepreneur say ‘I just need someone to help with sales and marketing’ and then build their life around dreaming of the day that they can hire a sales person to make all of their dreams come true, whilst simultaneously not making enough sales to warrant hiring a sales person.

But to fully understand who you need in the business next, the first place you need to look is yourself and what you bring to the party. When was the last time you thought about what kind of ying you’d make to a yang?

If this isn’t something you do regularly, or haven’t done in the context of your business you can start simple by categorising all the things you do in a day in a day to make the business work, into 3 areas:

·        Superpowers – these things come naturally or give you energy

·        Energy zappers – you can do these things, but they take effort and attention and can drain you

·        Danger zones – others do this much better than you and they’re more effort than they’re worth

If you were to take a minute to think about this and write a few things that instantly come to mind under each one you might be surprised how many you do that are actually in the danger zone or at least zap your energy. Now imagine if you had someone working with you in the business that thrived on those tasks, how much better you would feel in a day and how much more you would achieve? What we often forget is that something we hate doing is actual a superpower for someone else, they feed on them and are actively looking for more. And they are probably thinking about how helpful it would be to work with someone like you!

Use a profiling tool to help

At Misadventures we are very luck as we already have two of us with different skills. In our previous business we were the perfect ying and yang, but in this business, we’ve felt for a while there was a gap. So, we took our superpower analysis a step further this time and used a profiling tool to find out where our gaps might be.

There are many profiling tools you can use out there and on this occasion we used the Entrepreneur Builder tool created by Gallup. We each know pretty well what our individual skills are and how they fit together, but Gallup has done extensive research on entrepreneurial business builders and believe that they rarely do it alone and that teams with diverse talents perform the best. So we wanted to find out how our individual talents fitted together and if there were any gaps.

During Gallup’s research they identified 3 types of profile – the Conductor, the Expert and the Rainmaker. Together they complete the ideal team. When we did our profiling we discovered we were lucky to have 2 out of the 3 components:

· Lucy-Rose is the Conductor: ‘Great management talent, a love of hard work and a focus on operations mark the alpha Conductor. They rarely act alone; in fact, they look for ways to delegate work and authority because Conductors take pride in finding the right people for key positions.’

· Gayle is the Expert: ‘Primarily focused on product development and research, alpha Experts set a high bar and believe that being the best is the organization's crucial distinction. Highly independent, discerning and quick-thinking, Experts never accept the status quo and constantly imagine new possibilities.’

But we do have a gap. We’re missing a Rainmaker: Aggressive, optimistic, risk-tolerant and intensively driven to generate sales and revenue, alpha Rainmakers believe absolutely in their capacity to be successful. They rarely miss a moneymaking opportunity, and they measure success by profitability.

This exercise has really helped us to look at that gap and understand if we want to invest time and energy into working on elements of those skills ourselves at the risk that we feel constantly drained by them, or if we’d be better looking at bringing someone else into the business for whom this feels easy and is hungry for more. It feels like such a relief, and a no brainer. Now we just need to figure out how.

So, whether you are a solopreneur and looking to plug some of your own gaps, or you’re already in a team and want to understand how you can function more effectively it is worth spending the time to become more aware of the part you play, who around you is completing the jigsaw puzzle or who you might need to bring in to support you.

Article provided by Lucy-Rose Walker, Co-Founder of Misadventures In Entrepreneuring.

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