In building a championship business team, professional women must break the traditional hiring model to be most successful. Far too much hiring is done with a sole focus on skills and experience with little attention on whether the new hire’s personality is a fit for the culture of the company.
A company’s culture is developed through the beliefs and values that define the desired attitudes and behaviors of team members. If in recruiting there is little or no emphasis on the attitudinal and behavioral areas of a prospective team member’s personality, there is a high likelihood the fit may be challenging to manage.
Championship teams recruit team members, especially at crunch time when they are close to achieving their goal and need just a couple of refinements to make the difference, that aspire to be the best and are willing to fill a role within a winning team. At that stage, team chemistry is vital. Even with the right skills and experience, prospective team members lacking the right attitude and behavioral history are usually not brought on board because they rarely become champions.
For professional women to build their championship business team this means more than checking a resumé for just experience and skills. They must delve deeper with due diligence by interviewing for the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that may be expected upon joining the team.
In my 20 years as a business leader, I never once fired an employee due to incompetence or poor decision-making; it was always due to an attitude and behaviors that were creating conflict with teammates and customers. If professional women spend as much time evaluating employees for personality and attitude as they do for job skills and experience, they will be well served. It is significantly less of an investment to train for new job skills than to try and change one’s attitude, beliefs and values.
In building a championship team mindset, professional women need to identify the beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors that will achieve company goals. There are two basic attitudes toward teamwork that must be managed.
Team-building consultants and trainers have been known to proclaim, "There is no ‘I’ in team," as a way to illustrate that teamwork requires focus on helping other team members get the job done. If professional women in their leadership roles buy into this philosophy, they will be missing an equally important component of building a championship team; the fact that each individual must first take responsibility for excelling in the role in which they were hired, otherwise the opportunity for teamwork ceases to exist.
In continuing the analogy of an athletic team as the model for creating a championship business team, there are manifold situations in team sports that require teammates to work together to get the job done. In every imaginable scenario, successful teamwork must include, first and foremost, the individual adequately fulfilling her primary role.
For example, in baseball or softball for which most every professional woman will have a reference, on a ground ball requiring the third baseman and first baseman to collaborate on putting out the batter, the team work component breaks down and will never formulate should the third baseman not catch the ground ball or should the first baseman fail to do his/her job by covering first base to await the throw. Teamwork only comes into play when individual responsibilities are fulfilled.
Likewise, in a championship business team, members are focused on fulfilling their individual job responsibilities and are open to supporting their teammates when necessary because they bring to the job the requisite competence and confidence that allows for a powerful balance. Later in this series I’ll write about how to ensure that effective collaborative teamwork ensues.
Written originally for w2wlink.com by Skip Weisman.
w2wlink.com Discussion and Thought Provoking Questions from the Author: 1. List the ideal values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that are a must in order for a new hire to be a good fit for your present organization, or one in which you would desire to lead? 2. Why are these important to you? 3. If you were to put together a team with these characteristics describe what the culture and work environment would be like?
president of Weisman Success Resources, is a business coach and consultant specializing in “Creating Championship Teams.” Skip spent 20 years in sports management during which he served as president of five minor league professional baseball teams. Early in his baseball management career he became Minor League Baseball's youngest general manager at the age of 26. Twice his teams were recognized as "Organization of the Year," once each by "The Sporting News" and "Baseball America." Skip currently writes a column for the Hudson Valley Business Journal in his hometown area of Poughkeepsie, New York. He has a b.s. in communications and a master's degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University. See www.weismansuccessresources.com.