You don’t need to be a golf fan to know that there’s no ‘I’ in team!

You don’t need to be a golf fan to know that there’s no ‘I’ in team!

“There’s no ‘I’ in team!”

Yep, it’s one of those trite old phrases that always rocks up at sales conventions and leadership development symposiums. And it’s easy to ignore it for that very reason. However, if you are truly ambitious to grow your business, you ignore the power of your team at your peril.

Let me tell you a bit about the Ryder Cup and how this demonstrates this point perfectly. Yep, I know many of you will have no interest in golf, but you’d do well to pay attention here.

The bi-annual Ryder Cup starts today in Gleneagles – in fact, I’ve just watched match one tee off. Twelve top golfers are representing each of the European and US teams and they will battle it out over the next three days for the uber-prestigious 2014 Ryder Cup title. But, as the European golf team has proved time and time and time again, collective team effort invariably beats a group of super-talented individuals.

More often than not the US team has out-performed the Europeans on paper but, in the two days of team matches, Europe invariably accrues a massive lead over their rivals making them virtually unassailable on the final ‘individuals’ day. In the last 10 events, Europe has won an impressive 7 times, usually against expectations.

The fact is, in business you can’t do it all on your own. And it’s a valuable lesson recognising the enormous power that lies in building a brilliant team around you.

The vast majority of small business owners start out on their own and, despite having plans to grow, find they get stuck when they start to bring people into the business. I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for many years and I see the same ‘team’ issues recurring time and time again …

  • Not recruiting the right people. You need to invest in skills that contrast and add to your own – that way you create a super-powerful team that is bigger than the sum of its parts.
  • Not investing enough in good people. Like they say, if you pay peanuts – you’ll get monkeys!
  • No real trust in the team members resulting in ‘control freakery’ from the top. You are micro-managing and the team never gets a chance to contribute value and succeed.
  • Lack of clarity about who does what. You need to spell out precisely what the roles are – including yours!
  • Failing to share the BIG vision. If you don’t tell people where you are heading, you can’t expect them to help you get there. At that’s probably going to mean sharing the numbers with them – yep, that’s right… they probably even need to know what you want to take out of the business! They certainly need to know how well things are going and if the business is on target.

Building your team is the ONLY way you’ll move from being a one- or two-man-band (where essentially you’ve got a ‘job’ and not a business) to creating an asset that has a life and value all of its own. One day you should even be able to sell it.

So, here’s hoping Europe pulls it out of the bag this weekend, proving once again that a great team will always beat a bunch of talented individuals. If the crowd has anything to do with it, Europe should win hands down!


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