How to build the Best Team…

“Best Team” is the holy grail for any company big or small. But it’s not easy to build a top-notch team. Here are a few things, that’s critical to build the “Best Team”
 
# Hiring:– Hiring is one of the most complex problems. Its a multi-billion dollar industry but still difficult to find the bests. It’s not about skill-set but a lot of soft parameters and that’s where we fail to judge most of the times.
Further budget constraints, timing issues – how to hire a skill-set at a particular time. Attitude & culture fit with the current team.
 
All this makes it much more difficult. So how do we hire the best person with the right skills, the right attitude, fits well with the team?
 
One solution is to always keep hiring, keep looking for talent, especially in the most critical teams. For example, if you are a tech company, always keep looking for good tech talents. Always!
 
# Invest in your best performers:- Focus on best performers they are your assets, nurture them to go the next level. With this, your team can grow in the best way possible.
 
# Layoff non-performers ASAP:- Don’t be scared to fire non-performers as soon as you know. Things are already in a mess if you have a non-performer.
Forget trying to mold them, giving them chances, you are wasting your critical time and money. More than anything it actually de-motivates the performers as well. Move on fast…
 
It gives another reason to keep hiring to replace the non-performers as soon as possible.
 
# Strong HR:- Don’t think of HR as a support function. HR is most critical for both hiring and creating productive teams. They help build culture, team motivations and help scale the team. Build a strong HR team.
 
# Build Team Top Down:- Hire the leaders first, invest time in hiring the best managers or team leaders. They can help you build the “Best Team”. This might be difficult because of budget constraints but whenever possible try to do get the Seniors or Leaders first in the team.
 
I find the above points very critical for the making of the “Best Team”, though it’s not full proof. Let me know your thoughts by adding comments below.

Boost Your Team’s Productivity? Really?


As Manager or Leader, one of the most critical problems is How to increase our Team’s Productivity. We constantly think about it and keep reading trying different things to achieve it.

Some of the main points (From different sources) are:

1. Set the best example for your team.
2. Set Goals and Clarify expectations.
3. Encourage open communication.
4. Give team members autonomy.
5. Give team decent breaks or holidays, so that they are not overworked.

There might be more…But does these work?

One of my friend who is based out of California(US), had set up an office in Delhi and did all of the above but the team was not productive. Moreover, the employees’ came late and had started taking things for granted. He wasted 6 months and couldn’t figure out the problem. In the end, he hired an experienced Ops manager. Who rolled out his stick, kept attendance registers, fixed timings, a penalty in coming late etc and Baam!!! –  It started improving. Last I discussed he was happy with the output and didn’t care much about the above rules.

Take away:– Some of these rules might work in a culture, probably US-based team, but may not work in other culture. All the books/literature we read are typically based on US environment and hence should be taken with pinch of salt. It might not work in a different country or culture. In the Indian context where we have been trained to obey the rules from childhood and even in school/colleges being driven by “Stick” more than “Carrot” these rules as it is might not work.

We need to have “Carrot” and “Stick” in right mixture…

What rules do you think applies to the Indian context? Please share your comments…

6 Ways to Go from Good to Great

What we can learn from Good-to-great companies?

How does strategic management differ at good-to-great companies versus mediocre ones?

# Finding a simple “Hedgehog concept (Shaded part – Intersection of passion, skill, and economic value)“ provides a clear path to follow.

 

# Success comes from many tiny incremental pushes in the right direction.

New technology should be viewed only as an accelerator toward a goal, not as a goal itself.

How do the people and culture differ at good-to-great companies versus mediocre ones?

Team drives successful transformations from good to great. Right people in the right place are the foundation of greatness.

Success requires confronting the nasty facts, while never losing faith. Leaders must create an environment where the brutal facts are aired without hesitation.

A culture of rigorous self-discipline is needed to adhere to the simple Hedgehog concept.

Follow the above steps to build a great company.

Scattered Priorities

Scattered Priorities is one of the biggest hindrances in achieving success, as they say, “If you have more than 3 priorities than there are no priorities”.

It’s true not only as leaders, managers or entrepreneurs but at our personal level as well. Think about it when u have tried to accomplish too many things nothing happens.

So why do we do it? Why we set ourselves for failure aiming too many things to achieve? Here are few:

1. Our Fear of Failure or Insecurity:

To safeguard ourselves from failure we build a facade of different priorities or tasks. But imagine the fallacy of this, if you fail in your prime task or priority, is it not better to fail and try again, than to compromise? As said, “There is no reason to have Plan B because it distracts from Plan A“.

2. Lack of Self-Believe:

We do not want to commit to one thing, as we are in self-doubt. It might be because of what others think about us or past failures or lack of determination to make it happen.

3. Too many options leading to indecision:

Sometimes we get too many choices to decide and instead of taking the time to decide, we pick 2 or 3 options and start running with it.

4. Smart-A** expects as s/he can do 10 things together, so can the team or subordinates:

This is true for leaders, entrepreneurs, and managers. They think that since they can design, review business, talk sales simultaneously hence everybody should do 5 things together.
It’s a big fallacy since the leader would have reached this level of productivity in the field with almost 10+ years of experience or more. Expecting same with the team is sure recipe for failure. A team should have a coherent goal and corresponding set of tasks to be achieved. Just to keep them busy with more tasks helps to do nothing.

What else do you think leads us to scatter ourselves and setting for failure? Please share your thoughts in comments

Getting your smallest point across is critical…..

Have you faced a situation where u think that if you say something to someone it will be ignored. It can be anything as small as telling your friends “No” for a party or letting your manager know about a project detail to make better decision.

In all these situations we assume that our opinion really might not have changed it. Or would have not impacted in anyway. But these small things matter most not just because of the impact it makes in the current situation but it also becomes a habit.

It matters even if you are best performer in your group, showing concern and giving appropriate feedback is what a Leader or Manager looks at his subordinates.

It is also very critical in household, if you do not share minor fears or thoughts with your spouse or parents how will you make bigger decisions together with them? This is where lot of times it leads to so much discrepencies that it results in either divorce or losing your child or misunderstanding your parents.

Also with this small step everyone will start recgonizing that i can talk to him/her and might get good suggestion or inputs.

So whether you are a friend, spouse, or employee, next time an opinion comes and you think its appropriate to say it, please speak up and be polite even if its not to the other likings they will understand.

And whats more you will feel much better about yourself!