For the most part, entrepreneurs earnestly believe that it takes teamwork to make the dream work. However, there are far too many ‘Superpreneurs’ out there still wearing the gleaming ‘S’ stretched across their chest. However, when the cape comes off, many will admit that they are frustrated, stifled, exhausted, and zapped in strength. Dr. Nadia Brown is the CEO and Founder of Doyenne Leadership Institute LLC based out of Phoenix, AZ, an institute designed to help entrepreneurs build profitable, sustainable businesses through training, coaching and strategic planning. According to Dr. Nadia, there comes a time to realize the necessity and value of a team concept.
“One of the things that I have my clients to do is to reference their big dream or vision. Then I ask them that if I told them that I wanted to build an amazing skyscraper and that my plan was to build it alone, what would they say? They all say the same thing, that I would be crazy and that it was impossible. “ Dr. Nadia reminds them that their big vision for their business is synonymous to a skyscraper, and attempting to fulfill a big vision alone is a daunting task at best. “One of the biggest mistakes that I see small business owners make is they take far too long to get the help they need to build the business they desire.”
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Dr. Nadia to ask her expect advice on top strategies entrepreneurs can employ immediately to build an effective dream team.
Understand That Asking For Help Is Not A Sign Of Weakness. Business owners have to be okay with the fact that they cannot do it alone. I do not know where the idea came from that we have to do it all ourselves as a badge of honor or something, but when you look at companies such as Apple, Inc. there are thousands of people that work to make it a successful business. While I understand not every small business owner aspires to grow that large, it takes the right mindset to understand that it is okay to have people on your team.
Identify What Skill Sets You Need Before You Need Them. It is dangerous to hire when you’re desperate. Trust me, I’ve been there. Take the time to identify what skill sets you need now and what you will need in the future. Then as you continue to grow, bring on the needed resources to take your business to the next level. This is an important part of your revenue growth strategy. It’s important to understand that the team that gets the company to $100,000 is not the same team that will get the company to $1 million and beyond.
Don’t Rush The Process, But Hire Carefully. I heard this saying: ‘be slow to hire and quick to fire’ during my years in corporate and it just stuck with me ever since. It is important to take your time during the hiring process, to not only hire for attitude, character and skill, but also to hire a person that fits your company’s culture. This is a piece that is often overlooked during the hiring process and can come back later to haunt you. Once a person is on the team, it’s a lot harder to get them off if things don’t work out.
Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You. It’s important that you learn to check your ego at the door. If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room. You must identify your areas of strength and then hire those who are gifted in the areas where you are not. One thing I’ve learned is leadership will expose your insecurities.
Learn How To Let Go And Delegate. Once the person is on the team, you have to let things go. This is a lot easier said than done. However, it’s important that you learn to assign tasks to new team members and trust them to get it done. Clearly communicate your expectations, deadlines, and make yourself available to answer questions. It’s a process to get the communication piece down, but understand that most disagreements in the workplace are due to miscommunication.
Give New Team Members The Space And Grace To Make Mistakes. Your new team members will make mistakes. It’s part of the process. I have to remind my clients that they didn’t always get it right and neither will those on your team. If you create an environment where mistakes are handled properly, then you will have fewer incidents of team members who are afraid of taking a risk and/or who try to cover up mistakes when they are made. This is important for the continued growth and innovation of your business.
Fire Yourself As You Grow. Yep, that’s right. Understand that as a small business owner, growing and developing your dream team won’t happen overnight. There may be some hats that you have to wear for a while and that’s okay. However, keep in mind that as you continue to grow your business your goal is to fire yourself from the daily operations of your business and take your rightful place as CEO aka Chief Decision Maker.