Why hello, entrepreneurs, artists, independent professional extraordinaires and "starter-uppers". Hello and good morning. Today I'd like to talk to you about...
Your Crew • Your Squad • Your People • Your TEAM
For a musician, "your team" could refer to entertainment lawyers, managers, co-writers, producers CPAs and more. For an entrepreneur, this "team" can include countless employees, business partners, investors, etc. Putting together the right people around you, your brand and your business is crucial to success and establishing sustainable growth. Unfortunately, there's no exact science to assembling an All-Star caliber squad - but if you ask me, I'd say:
1. Personality Matters
It's not just for dating sites, people. The human dynamic is quickly forgotten when establishing a great professional team. We spend so much time looking over resumes, LinkedIn profiles and letters of recommendations when the truth is, most look exactly the same. They're thousands of sites telling you exactly what to put on a profile - right down to commonly searched "key words". So what do you do? IGNORE IT! Well, not completely. But instead of asking yourself, "how does this individual's skill-set fit in with our company," ask yourself, "how does this individual's personality fit in with our company?". Not only will this make it easier to differentiate between candidates (who look the same on paper) but it will bolster your work environment as well.
2. Where are they in their careers?
Anyone who's worked with a company from the ground up knows how difficult it is to get talented, driven people to buy in at the beginning. In addition to convincing clients, mangers, and/or publishers that your product or service is the real deal, you also have to convince potential employees to work for you - ideally people who are skilled and hungry enough to get a job involving half the risk and twice the pay.
A great way to get these folks to share the risk and roll the dice with you on your venture is to find people that are in a point in there career where they want to take the plunge into the entrepreneurial realm. These people are more likely to share your vision (not just your earnings), challenge you, and take risks because they're wired to see "what can be" - not just "what is".
3. Specify Team Roles
Job titles are nice for LinkedIn profiles and shootin' the sh** at your local industry bar, but if there's no defined structure to a position, then that's about all they're good for. Instead of putting in all of your efforts to assign "titles" to your team, focus more on their roles. For example: When we first began bringing on interns, we made the mistake of assuming their roles, within the company landscape, based on their title.
An intern is there to assist, right? They'll just help out and it'll be great, right? Eazy Peezy-errrrr
Instead of putting critical thought into how we can best utilize them and how they can get the most out of their time with us, we took a "title" for what it was and hoped for the best. Now, our interns have specific roles (Social Media, Design, Development, etc.) and a specific curriculum to follow. They absolutely kill it for us, are a legit part of the team and workflow - and in my opinion, are part of one of the more kick-ass internship programs you'll find.
You probably don't have the money to go all "Google" on your employees and give them pools, daycare centers and baby koalas. (I'm assuming Google offers this. Why wouldn't they offer this?) However, assemble the right team and you'll have yourself a work environment that fuels passion, production and sustained success for years to come. Here's to you and your homies.
VP Digital Marketing, 12South Music