We all need a team. If you’re building a startup, the team may just be you, your accountant and – if you’re lucky – a friend, significant other or family member willing to listen to you, bounce ideas around, and provide reassurance that you’re not crazy. As your business grows, the team will expand, eventually (hopefully?) including subcontractors and/or employees. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, surrounding yourself with a team is still helpful. The roles are different, but still necessary: Mentors, a financial advisor, someone to hold you accountable for goals (personal and professional), and do on.
Whatever stage you’re in in your career, you’ve probably already realized that sometimes the best plans just don’t go according to plan. For me, that’s precisely when I’m reminded just how critical the team is. A quick story: My son was born five weeks early and spent two weeks in the NICU. While I had done some maternity leave preparation, I thought I still had a whole month left in the office! But, the baby didn’t want to wait. So, as I was being life-flighted to the hospital, I was asking my husband to text someone on my team. While we hadn’t fully prepared, I was confident that they’d know what to do. Thankfully, #TeamGeben rose to the occasion. Our clients continued to receive a high level of service, and I was able to focus my energy and attention on getting the baby healthy so we could bring him home. Without a strong team, I would have felt torn, guilty and even more stressed out – feelings no new mom should have to deal with!
Professionally speaking … How are you building your team? What are the roles you need to fill and how can you begin to identify the right people? In sales, you hear a lot of talk about the business development pipeline. As I’ve recently learned, a talent pipeline is just as important. When you need to hire, do you have a pipeline of people waiting to join your team? Admittedly, I need to focus more attention on developing a talent pipeline. It’s something I’m actively — desperately! — working on. (If you have advice, I’m all ears!)
Not just for entrepreneurs … As you develop goals for yourself, surround yourself with a team of people who will help you get there. For example, if you’ve set financial goals, like saving for retirement or buying a house, consider developing a relationship with a financial advisor who can offer advice and help hold you accountable. Want to climb the career ladder? Initiate relationships with people who can teach, provide guidance and mentor you. Maybe you want to be adventurous or workout more? Who in your life can inspire you to accomplish these things? Whatever the goals, make them known. Tell people in your life about them. Ask for advice. Make them promise to help hold you accountable. Whether this is your own (informal) personal board of advisors, or just a concerted effort on your part to surround yourself with a strong support system, your team can be the difference between just missing a goal
or surpassing it.
So, who’s on your team?
This post was inspired by my weekly letter in theEM.co enewsletter. Each week, I share lessons, tips and experiences for women interested in empowerment and entrepreneurship. Click here to get the weekly letter delivered to your inbox.