Third Eye Capital Ninepoint experience has shown me that you don’t need a greatproduct to be successful. Good products are fine. But great people can make a difference. To succeed, you need a great team. Fiction: It is essential to have a great team from the beginning. It takes time to build a team.

Let’s talk about who you need in your team, how they can support and retain them, what to do to find them, and who your extended members should be. Your team will have half of the impact on other risks, like technology and market size.

Tip #1 – Be Diverse

Diverse players are essential for a team to succeed. As you work through teambuilding, you will need visionaries, leaders, implementers, and infrastructure builders/supporters. Visionaries can be found at all levels but must be visible in the executive management. These visionaries will see the future for your company’s products and services, as well as the potential markets that you should be entering. These leaders will be found in the executive and middle management ranks. Leaders are able to inspire others and make their mission a success. Great leaders can motivate and inspire people to achieve anything. They make it happen. They create and market products and services and then sell them. To keep the company running smoothly, the Infrastructure Builders/Supporters will build the processes, foundations and procedures.

Visionaries require the Leaders to communicate their vision. Leaders need the Implementers in order to carry out their orders. Everyone needs Infrastructure Builders/Supporters for company operations. You should fill the vacancy if you’re not currently in one of these positions. Temporary executive: A rent-a controller is better than none.

Tip #2 – Rock The Culture

A rockin’ culture is the best way to support, build and retain great teams. Everyone should agree to uphold the company’s values. These values should be visible, printed on coffee cups, and posted everywhere. Every employee in the company must have the ability to “call” anyone who isn’t living up to the values. These are our values: Add massive value, take responsibility, keep and make commitments, respect each other, be positive. I have seen work environments that are solid, lasting, and humane when I endorse values, but I have also seen the opposite with them.

Encourage humility, communication and empowerment. Focus, fiscal responsibility, innovation, empathy, compassion, and focus are all good virtues. Hire grade A people and you will create grade A teams. The org chart’s top positions should be filled with people of grade A. Let these executives then build their teams. People like to be informed about what’s happening in the company. Finally, encourage each team member to envision their next promotion. Once, I was a senior executive at a startup and told them that I expected them start their own businesses within a few years. That was their “next promotion”. I advised them to do their best and then I would finance their ventures when it was time. Talk about loyalty!

Tip #3 – Choose Wise

We now know who we need to build our team and what environment we should create. Let’s take a look at the qualities we should be looking for in teambuilding.

1.Smarts. Hire the most intelligent people possible. They will find a way to get out of most of the messes that they’ll encounter. Entrepreneurs have the courage to do this.

2. Pedigree. A MBA isn’t enough to impress me. GSD is. GSD = Gets Things Done. A pedigree that is as strong as an Ivy League degree has results.

3. Commitment. This is not the fluffy stuff. This is the serious, hard-hitting, man/woman on mission stuff. The committed person won’t let the grenades fly. Emotional equity is the most powerful thing. Stock options are not even close.

4. Works well with other people. Because I did not get along with other people, I was not employable. I became an entrepreneur. But I learned. It was one of my greatest lessons.

While numbers 1-3 are necessary, number 4 is possible to be learned. You can save yourself a lot by learning all four.

It’s the best way to meet new people. Attend every industry event and tell everyone about your company and the people you are seeking to hire. Interview wisely. You can also check out John Kador’s Manager’s Book of Question . This is a great interviewing tool. To screen potential hires, you can also use your extended team (see below). Each candidate should be offered two options: one offering a fair salary with fair stock and the other offering a lower salary with more stock. You don’t need to spend all your money on salaries if you have equity.

Tip #4 – Build an Extended Team

Your board members, investors, and advisors will make up your extended team. You can pick your investors well by creating and executing capital acquisition strategies (more details in a future column). You’ll be able to have greater control over your board and advisors. Most likely, you’ll have 5-7 members on your board. Seven is my preference, with two seats going towards investors and two going to the CEO and another exec. You should give the remaining seats to people you trust, who can help you. A maximum of ten people should be appointed to a board for advisors. Directors and advisors should have a profile that is industry-leading, credible, and a model customer. They also need to be savvy business people with many connections. Each member of the advisory board should have a role. For example, they could help with strategic alliances or work with the marketing, sales, and technical teams. This helps them stay focused. Monthly email updates will keep your team motivated and engaged. Everyone should have stock options, except investors. Based on the stage of your company, the amount you receive will vary from.25% to 3%. A killer business will attract top-notch advisors and board members. It will take time to fill in the board. Many startups fail to fill all of their board seats in the first year. Be selective!

By davidd

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