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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ask These 3 Questions?

Starting a company will come with many stresses and strains over a prolonged time.  Even well run companies have issues that arise and the issues may start or add to conflicts or problems.  One of the things you can do to ensure your potential success is to build a great team.  Building relationships and fostering team spirit may be the things that can help get through the tough spots.  Keep in mind that the team members have differences in their ability to tolerate stresses, react to activities, and interpret situations.  As the team leader, it will be your responsibility to help foster the team spirit and guide them through the tough spots.

Over the years, three questions have emerged to the top of my list when giving advice to friends, team members, and the leaders.  Keep in mind that during the great times as well as the difficult ones all individuals need to retain their motivations.  It is very hard to go to work each day and perform to the optimal standards once people become disenchanted.  It is also difficult if some of the infighting starts or disagreements develop.  Money, salary, recognition and other factors can move the situations to become more stressful.

Ask yourself three questions when you are deciding to join, stay or leave any business or job.  These may apply to all sizes of businesses and not just to startups.  The advice applies to entrepreneurs and every member of the team.  It may be hard to make the decisions, but the advice can serve as a guide to help in the process.  The questions are valid to ask, but your level of financial resources will have some bearing on your ability to stick with the business.  Regardless of whether you are an employee or the leader, these questions relate to you, hence they go both ways.  Your answers to these questions may help you determine whether sticking out the tough times is worth the effort.

Do you like the business?  I have become a strong advocate of advising people to work with businesses they feel strongly about.  Being motivated by what you are doing and finding it enjoyable it important to your desire to perform well.  Hating what you do every day will eventually lead to a loss of drive.  Your performance may suffer and the company may not derive the expected benefit from your work. Consider a position change in the company or leaving the company.

Do you like the people?  Going to work you will be seeing some of the same people every day.  A company with multiple locations may even have your boss at a remote location but you still interact regularly with this person.  People you work are the ones you will rely on as the team tackles difficult problems.  If you do not feel the connections, dislike them, or do not believe you can work with them in a proper manner, your work and the team’s effort will eventually suffer.  The leader should attempt to foster relationship building when possible, making sure the team work and play well together.

Do you trust the people?  Trust is a most critical characteristic of any relationship be it personal or business.  Partners need to know they can trust each other and agreements reached will be honored.  Employees need to feel they are respected and will not be taken advantage of.  The employees also want to feel their work receives the credit it deserves and others do not take the credit improperly.  Most any of aspect of personal and business relationships are built on trust for the relationships to last.  As a leader, help see that trust becomes part of the company building efforts.

Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon