If you want to do something epic, you can’t do it alone. You need a team of inspired individuals working towards a common goal. But how do you create this team?
To create an amazing team you have to understand the two stories that run through every relationship. Mostly when you think about your goals you see them in the context of your story. You’re here and you want to go there.
You ask how an employee can help you, a partner can get investors, or an assistant can add to your capacity. But you forget about the stories of your partners and team members. They are telling a story about their own lives and you’re not the main character.
If you can master the art of telling your stories together, you can create a team that not only does the work, but lives in the realm of passion where epic things are born.
How To Inspire An Epic Team
1. Understand Their Dreams
To create an epic team you have to understand how each person’s story relates to the stories of everyone else.
This means taking the time to get to know their strengths, but also their hopes, dreams, and fears. Don’t just ask them where they see themselves in five years, ask them what they like to do, and what they’re passionate about.
Once you understand what they want to create, you can begin to weave your stories together in a way that feeds your powerful partnership.
2. Share Your Vision
Understanding their dreams is just the beginning. If you want to create an epic team you have to share your vision as well. Let them see your passion and how much you love this work, share with them how your collaboration could benefit both of you, and make sure they know you want them to go after their dreams, as they help you go after yours.
Don’t hold back or be shy. Amazing people want to work for leaders who inspire them and call them to do their best work.
3. Teach Them About Respect
Teach your team to value respect over recognition by relating it directly to their dreams. Share how you’ve had to earn respect and be guided by an internal compass in order to gain the courage to follow your path.
Help them let go of the need for recognition that keeps them hooked on the drug of extrinsic motivation. Instead, teach them how to create respect in your relationship and for themselves. Share with them not only how this respect helps your business but the pursuit of their own dreams as well.
4. Help Them Grow
Sometimes leaders increase responsibility as a way to increase growth, but this is a blunt tool for a subtle job. Don’t just increase their responsibility, increase their capacity.
Think about each member and what would help them grow as a person and as a teammate. Think of this person like a consulting client or a trusted mentee, what could you do to help them become everything they are capable of being?
Buy them books that would help them grow. Ask them about their personal passion projects. Show them that you are just as invested in them as you are in your business.
5. Make It Fair
You can usually find someone on the cheap end to work for you. But if you want to have an epic team you have to pay people what they’re worth and treat them right. Don’t over pay people to try to make up for your faults as a leader, but don’t underpay them either.
Pay them like professionals and let them know why. Let them know that you want to pay them what’s right because you want them to show up and do the kind of work that will make them proud.
6. Help Them Understand The Impact of Their Work
You know that success isn’t just about doing things right, it’s about doing right things.
Don’t just track what your team does well, track the effect of their work. Help them understand how their efforts affect your team and the business as a whole. Let them see the significance of their work, because in that will inspire them to create significance in their lives as well.
7. Don’t Just Work With Them, Collaborate
If you’re only focused on your story it’s easy to slip into the habit of micromanaging or coming up with solutions for every problem. But if you expand your mindset to include your team’s story, it’s clear they need to do more than listen.
Instead of just offering solutions, offer opportunities for collaboration. Work on solutions together even when you think you might know the right answer. This will teach them to think for themselves as well as solve problems in their own lives.
8. Trust Your Team
Tracking progress is a good idea, but don’t become obsessed with measuring every action your team takes. Your team needs to know that you trust and believe in them.
When you give your team a tough assignment don’t just tell them why it’s important but why you trust them with it. Show your team you rely on them and they will feel inspired to rise to that level of trust.
9. Invest In Yourself
Be open about how you’re working to improve yourself as a leader. Don’t just push your team to grow, show them how you’re growing yourself. They’ll be more likely to admit their mistakes as well as forgive you for yours.
10. Know When It’s Time To Let Go
Only work with a member of your team so long as it serves both of your interests. If the job doesn’t challenge them or ask them to grow, it’s either time to redefine the scope of work or encourage them to find another opportunity.
One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is trying to keep good people too long. No partnership is forever, so pay attention to when it’s time for your stories to separate and make the ending a good one.
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