The ultimate goal of any business is to produce results and be profitable. Results are what allows us to live our dreams, so what is the best way to steadily grow those results year after year? I would find the answer to that question soon after I was promoted to Division Manager back in 2011.
Early in my leadership training, I was taught a simple yet effective Business and Leadership Formula that has been tested and proven to produce results time and again within my organization.
The formula is this: L x (PxC) = R or Leadership x (People x Customers) = Results
Leadership: Developing world class leaders through education, training, and experience.
People: Building and being part of a Dream Team! Inspiring aligned teammates. Selecting and developing great people to perform at their best.
Customers: Adding value to customers and earning their loyalty. Achieving a leadership position in each market and strategically choosing primary customers.
Results: Delivering superior results. Significant profit sharing per teammate. Strong return on investment. Market leadership.
The People aspect of this formula is not only one of the most challenging but possibly the most important in regards to an organization’s overall success. Selecting and developing great people and building a Dream Team is one of the best indicators for a successful business.
A Dream Team is defined as a group of people within an organization all operating at their peak potential and working together to achieve maximum results. Dream Teams bring with them innovation, creativity, enthusiasm, quality, responsiveness, and most importantly results. In the early stages of my new management role back in 2011 one of my biggest challenges involved recruiting the right people with that perfect combination of talent and potential to join my team. In my rush to deliver superior results I made poor hiring decisions and ignored some of the key building blocks required to create and develop a Dream Team. Not surprisingly, my poor hiring decisions led to poor results. It was a learning process for me and I have several bad hires and even worse fires to thank for teaching me some valuable lessons on what to do and what not to do when selecting the perfect combination of people to create a Dream Team and deliver superior results.
Fast forward to today and I can confidently say that my vision has become a reality. Having a Dream Team in place is an amazing feeling. All members of my team complement each other, support each other as we all work together towards a common goal.
Here are a few of the key building blocks that helped me create and develop a Dream Team:
- Leadership. It starts with you. Regardless of your position within an organization, you play a critical role towards building and being a part of a Dream Team. Rather than looking to others for direction or to take action look to yourself to make positive change and lead by example.
- Current Team. Complete a full analysis of every member of your current team and create Personal Development Action Plans that are measurable with specific timelines for completion. PDAP definition – A process for establishing a shared understanding of what is to be achieved at an organizational level. It is about aligning the organizational objectives with the teammates agreed measures, skills, competency requirements, development plans, and the delivery of results. The emphasis is on continuous improvement, learning, and development in order to achieve the overall business strategy (Vision) and to build a Dream Team.
*Before you place your focus on adding a new member to your team, be sure that your current team has the tools and training to reach their maximum potential and succeed together. Don’t have a PDAP in place within your organization? This is a great opportunity for you to be proactive. Create your own PDAP and present to your team or your manager as a way to further develop your skillset and contribute towards building a Dream Team.
- Find Great People: Have a full understanding of what qualities you are looking for in an effective candidate for your business before you begin your search. Build a reliable network that can offer recommendations. Have a strong social media platform in places such as Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as ways to attract and to also screen potential candidates. Hire for a position above the one that the candidate is applying for and ensure they are promotable. Do they have a history of making a positive change with proven examples from a portfolio they can share? Ask for multiple references and find patterns in feedback. Consider Intelligence testing such as the Wonderlic assessment. The second interview with another member of your leadership team can provide a valuable second opinion. Allow the candidate to complete a full interview of you and your company if they choose. Remember, there is no benefit to rushing this process, only risk.
- A Culture of Continual Development: The continuous development process means that you understand the need to always be learning and improving your skillset. This process relates to you as an individual and your team as a whole. Continuous development leads to advancement opportunities for the individual and is key to maintaining a Dream Team.
- Connect With Your Team and Have Fun: Celebrate the wins together, recognize great teamwork, set great examples for your team to follow, and organize monthly team lunches, picnics, BBQ’s, etc.
The potential of any team is limited only by the quality of people that it’s built around. The potential of a Dream Team is limitless.
Have you experienced the performance potential of a Dream Team or how disruptive poor performance can be in a team environment? Do you have any best practice examples to share that helped to develop either yourself or your Dream Team?
Author: Jason Johnson,
Manager, Vancouver Division – Westlund Industrial; President, Langley Toastmasters Club #2743