Launch @ Inc.: Hire Smart People And Get Out Of Their Way

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Why carving out your role is the first step toward building a winning team.


Right from the start, you need to build a team with the right skills around you and get out of their way. The key tactic is to find people who play doing the things you consider work. Here’s a checklist of 5 strategies to build a killer team.

1.    Be the Team Leader

A good leader puts someone else in place who has a track record of successfully building companies like the one you want to create. This allows you to focus on the work you do best and enjoy most. In contrast, I’ve seen struggling entrepreneurs who try to do everything they can by themselves, from scheduling meetings to going on sales calls to making the product and shipping it to her customers. In that case, they end up working in the business and have no time to do work on the business.


2.    Work Your Strengths: Hire Your Weaknesses

Are you a visionary? Do you like to take risks? Are you better at setting up systems and managing day-to-day operations than at thinking big? Is there a specific skill (such as sales, marketing, or product development) where you excel? Get clear about who you are and how you can help the organization most, and then focus on filling the gaps by putting the right people around you. Sometimes entrepreneurs, perhaps out of pride, find it difficult to put someone else in the role of CEO. The same hesitation may also apply to other leadership roles. My advice? Get over it. This kind of limited thinking will only obstruct your path to your success.

3.    Hire Smart People

Aim to hire people more qualified and smarter than you are in functional areas, and give them the tools they need to succeed. By the way, assigning somebody else a major role in the company doesn’t mean you have to give up your influence in or ownership of the company.


4.    Be Ready to Substitute Players

 As a company grows, people who excelled early on may no longer be the right fit. One manager may be great at taking a product to market, but not seem to know how to grow the business beyond a certain point. That’s not surprising, because a different set of skills is required to get the company to each new level. It’s your job to make sure you always have the right people in the right places at the right time in your company’s life cycle.

5.    Hire Entrepreneurial-Driven People

At launch, one key thing to consider is that employees, partners, and contractors need to be comfortable working in fast-paced, resource-constrained environments where they will likely be asked to juggle multiple tasks. Also, because launching is so time consuming, you must be sure the people on your team do not have any other major obligations during the critical go-to-market period.

Bring in the right people, give them all the tools they need to succeed, and then get out of their way. Leverage your strengths and spend your days doing the work you enjoy most. This could be the difference between going broke and building a billion-dollar business.

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