Assembling a Great Team

September 8th, 2011

We purposely don’t have many sacred cows in the businesses that I run. We adapt and change fast and have become “platform agnostics” so we can server our clients better in a fast-changing business environment. Sacred cows only slow things down and are always self serving. There are three things, however, that we fight hard never to compromise. And if we ever do, we are quickly reminded of their importance and why after all these years, they are still relevant. We call it our 3 C’s.

These core values are more than just posters on a wall or words on a website. These helped form the DNA of  these businesses and have everything to do with the environment we create internally. We take our time to hire someone at The A Group,so managing them is an easier process.

C is for Character
Character is a foundation of any success enterprise. Therefore you cannot have an organization with high ethics if your employees (or customers, for that matter) lack integrity. This should be an obvious one, but you would be surprised of how many people find “gray areas” where there should not be any.

C is for Competence
A successful enterprise is formed by competent people who know their job and do it well. As I heard Jim Wright, CEO of Tractor Supply Co say, “If you have a C player, help him to become a B player or set him free.” Without competence your character is only able to keep you in the game for a little while. You will never be competitive with a bunch of mediocre people around you. Leaders who cannot get beyond hiring smarter, more talented people than themselves will stunt growth and lead struggling organizations. That’s specially true of churches.

C is for Chemistry
The team must function as a team or the entire organization suffers. In the past I made the mistake of not paying much attention to chemistry with disastrous results. I had competent people who couldn’t get along and the tension in meetings was terrible. I also had to fire a few clients along the way because we just didn’t get along. Every conversation was a push back and every project was a painful exercise in “not screwing up” instead of a partnership into creating something great while having latitude to fail along the way. If there is no trust, grace and collaboration, you might have a mob, but you do not have a team.

What’s the best or worst team you have been part of? Why?

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