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3 Tips to Building Your NEXT Leadership Team

There's an old adage. I'm not sure where I heard it from - but it's something like, "if you put three people in a room, and all three agree with you all the time, get three other people." With the conversation now turning to the revitalization of the economy, it's time to gather your leaders and focus on what's next. "Frequently, individuals with superior potential are impaled on a single mistake, while mediocre ones are sometimes raised to great heights because they once got lucky." - Harvard Business Review The question is, who do you put in the room with you? Of late, I've been thinking about this quite a bit and found myself asking what I looked for in the teams I built. We can expect that the revitalization of business and economy will be complicated. The landscape has changed. What was your business before this event will not be your business after this event. ZOOM is a great example. According to an article published today, ZOOM's user base has grown to match that of the US population. That's more than a 50% increase in 45 days. Their CEO, Eric Yuan, has done an amazing job pivoting their global team. On the other end of the recovery spectrum, I had a brief exchange with a CTO from a tech company this morning. They continue to struggle and found that the needed relief from the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) was not coming - thus delaying growth and impacting their ability to shift to a "thrive" stance. We all know that no two businesses are alike. They each face unique challenges. To rise up and meet these challenges, what shape should your leadership team be taking? Although there are a lot of things to consider when picking your leaders, start with these three characteristics. Conception - and - Misconception It's dangerous to confuse command and control management with leadership. Some organizations still have difficulty understanding the difference between a leadership style developed to mimic a military chain of command and one that is built on trust and empowerment. Your team (and you as well) will have to adapt to the concept of empowering your organization based on trust and potential for performance. Right people in the right role doing the right job. "Never use a one-size-fits-all decision-making process. Many decisions are reversible, two-way doors. Those decisions can use a light-weight process." - Jeff Bezos Focus on the Highly Invested Your leaders represent company goals, plans, and strategies. They must be "all in" and invested in the future. In assessing your team, ask: "Does this individual proactively and openly, contribute ideas and propose strategies? Do they show interest in going above and beyond to get results? Will they challenge the norm?" Most importantly, "Will this individual commit to high-velocity decision making?" "A man's got to know his limitations." - Clint Eastwood (Magnum Force) Know Your Limitations When putting your team together, it's essential to step back and look at your own strengths and weaknesses. You need to know where your blind-spots are in knowledge and style. Make sure this team fills those gaps. Take into consideration diversity, communication style, and left- or right-brained thinking (to help keep you in check). But, be careful as this is not the time to build a team of people who have radically different personal or ethical values. Putting together your team will take thought and probably some soul searching. Don't just roll over and go back to what you consider as the usual group of suspects because it's easy. Take the time to be thoughtful. Examine your "why" when you decide on an individual. And, then, get on with it! I am an independent business coach and consultant with 30+ years of experience. To learn more, or just schedule a time to get together and share ideas, visit my website at

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