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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Overcoming Start Up Team Challenges

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Let me start by saying, a start up team is different. They require a deeper relationship, more involvement, greater trust, and must be built strong enough to overcome the toughest of challenges. You’ll probably meet your partner’s kids quite a few times. You’ll have to be a friend when their wife kicks them out for “spending too much time on work”, and not bringing in enough dough. You have to be there, because starting a business is a mountain that requires tedious climbing. A tall mountain with sharp peaks, and deep caves. You’ll also encounter mountains lions (a.k.a venture capitalists) that will eat you for breakfast. The stronger the team, the greater your chances of success. Here’s my best advice on building that winning start up team, and making the most out of what’s yet to come: Instilling a Common Desire for SuccessYour team will be with you during long hours of the start up phase. It’s important you have the same goal and desire for success. Others who can’t see your vision, won’t last. I’d give it 4 months tops, if there isn’t a motivation for success of the goal. You help spark this desire and motivation by instilling passion and commitment for the business. If you do this, a team member that is wandering off the path will quickly be noticed.Building Critical TrustI once surveyed groups of start up team, and learned that it’s common for team members to be suspicious….but only until trust has been established. Further, we learned that once trust was established, boundaries came down, and the growth of the start up flourished at an astronomical rate. Trust allows expression of one’s true self (including true talents).Trust isn’t just trusting in your team members though: it’s trusting in yourself as well. Truth is, everyone will hurt you at some point in your life. Whether unknowingly or on purpose. Trusting in yourself then, is trusting your ability to deal with disappointment in others.Opening Expression and FearsStart Up Team members should be encouraged to openly express opinions, and feelings; as well as fears. Notice though, this comes AFTER establishing mutual trust. Fears are natural during the start up phase: you’re putting in a tremendous amount of work, never knowing if you’ll ever reap the benefits. Openly discussing these fears will put other team members at ease, and teams support one another through the challenges of the start up phase.Aligning the VisionInspiring motivation and keeping the team moving forward in the same direction is the purpose to a vision. Start up teams are typically all Entrepreneurial, meaning your team also looks at the big picture. Focusing on the big picture, will allow them to fill in the details at their own pace fostering their independent spirit.Each start up team member needs to know his/her purpose, which should be aligned with their individual strengths. They should know their job, but be allowed the freedom to do their job.

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