How to Build a Dream Team (in Business)
Raise your hand if you’re still stunned by how the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their second NBA championship—I know I am! The more I reflect back on these games, the more I realize that so much of success is based on a strong, steadfast team. Whether playing in a basketball game or working at a small business, a great team truly establishes the foundation for achieving victories both big and small. If you’re ready to assemble your own roster of players for a dream team in business, keep the following pointers in mind.
Recruit for “team-playerness”
If there was one player everyone talked about this season, it was undoubtedly Kevin Durant. However, Durant did not exist solely to be their ace in the hole. In order to win against LeBron James and the Cavaliers, Durant needed the Warriors as much as they needed him. It was a team effort all around, built on hard work and valuing the strengths that everyone brought to the court. Or, as Warriors player Stephen Curry said in an interview with the NBA, “We needed every single person on this team to get the job done.”
When recruiting your own small business team, screen for “team-playerness” during the hiring process. Ask applicants questions about their work ethic, examples of how they contributed to their prior companies, and willingness to go above and beyond. Keep an eye out for those with the motto that there is no “I” in team who are happy to engage and work alongside others.
Create a welcoming, positive atmosphere
When the Warriors first brought Durant onto the team, the biggest worry they had was not that he would have a tough time integrating on the court. Rather, the team was concerned about the transition of Durant into their culture and how he would get along with key players like Curry. As it turned out, they didn’t need to worry at all. Even though they didn’t know much about one another at the offset, Durant and Curry spent some time bonding together off the court and quickly became friends.
At the bare minimum, small businesses that want to attract talented employees need to create a positive atmosphere in the workplace. This environment should provide security, both financially and within the job role itself, and make each member feel welcomed and part of the team. A few great ways to do this include greeting your employees by name each morning, encouraging them to ask questions, engage with others, and speak up if they have concerns, and offering perks like Bagel Fridays to build and boost team morale.
Follow the leader
As the head coach for the Warriors, Steve Kerr was there through it all to provide his team with the kind of pep talks, advice, and calm that they needed to keep their heads in the game. A dream team is only as successful as the leader that motivates them to go above and beyond. The best leaders in a small business environment are the ones that roll up their sleeves to get the job done and exhibit a can-do attitude daily. This kind of behavior is infectious and gets everyone invested in the team and business’s growth in the long run.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to be on a winning team but building that kind of team takes a lot of persistence and effort. Dream teams built to last need to be passionate, willing to work together and on their own under strong leadership in a good environment. If you have all of these characteristics on your side, you can count on your team being contenders for years to come.