“Building product is not about having a large team to manage. It is about having a small team with the right people on it.”–Fred Wilson
Fact: a true iconoclast is unicorn rare. Popular culture has sold us on the idea that innovators dig within their souls and against all the odds come up with the solution to save the day—all alone. The pictures history paints of the Thomas Edisons and Henry Fords is that they did everything from unclogging toilets to making accounts receivable calls on top of being innovators. What would Jeff Bezos be doing right now if the thousands of Sues and Bills stopped pulling orders in his warehouses? Bezos wouldn’t be rolling himself in the glory of imagining and implementing new programs for Amazon; he would be wondering why his team fell apart.
The true success of any innovator is not limited to his or her invention or idea, but the often-forgotten success lies in how that person created and maintained their team. The symbiotic relationship between “the idea” and those that make the idea a reality can never be dismissed. One might think of this as the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials where a bar of chocolate ends up in a jar of peanut butter followed by the tagline, “Two great tastes that taste great together.”
As you develop your confidence and skills as an innovator or change agent, remember that team-building is critical to your success. The more genuine you are with your vision, the more infectious it will become for your team. Your goal is to empower your team to make good creative decisions, as well as being committed to your vision at the same level of passion you are. If you can do all of that, you will be amazed at the platform effect your team will produce.
Powered By Teamwork: Accelerators
- Find at least two mentors who will give you feedback about your leadership strengths and your blind spots.
- Identify the top three most critical tasks or areas of responsibility in your business or team for which you are not the ideal person to carry them out.
- Develop a plan to get those tasks or areas of responsibility completed by someone who’s skilled and/or naturally gifted in those areas.
Dr. Jeff D. Standridge is the best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Field Guide” and “The Top Performer’s Field Guide.” He serves as Managing Director for the Conductor, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Jeff spends the vast majority of his time helping organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness and leadership. Learn more at JeffStandridge.com.