Hope is not a strategy when building a team
The most important trait of a world class team is that everyone is rowing in the same direction. This doesn't happen by chance. Nothing has happened by chance for me. You have to create a plan, constantly evaluate it and be explicit about every decision you make. It takes a strong level of awareness to not only create a world class team, but also make sure they stay that way. Here's some tips as you think through your strategy:
- Invest in experience. The higher cost of talent will buy you a higher level of strategic thinking, intuition and leadership which all leads to a better quality end result. The optimal team size is between 3 and 9 members, with teams of 7 displaying the most efficiencies. The key here is to carefully manage your team in accordance to your requirements.
- Personality is as important as skill. A smart individual with a stubborn personality will cause more harm than good. Surround yourself with people that are able to work together to constantly raise the bar for each other.
- Put emphasis on professional growth early. Individual growth will benefit you, invest in it. Make sure your strategy includes the ability for your people to be constantly growing to help you build a better product.
- Be intentional with decision making. Consensus management will accelerate your path to entropy. Don't let politics and personal bias get in the way of technical correctness, and don't strive to be a democracy. Trust the smart people to make the hard decisions. Focus on finding the right answer, not winning the most arguments.
- Equip the team with the right tools. The worst thing you can do is invest is smart people and create a great plan, but not set them up for success. Without the right tools, very little gets done regardless of anything else.
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