Entrepreneurial Team Building

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM


Team building for a new business venture is all about finding a balance between skills and personalities. Look at professional sports teams as an example. The truly successful ones don't have a team full of superstars. They have a few, but role players surround them. Without those role players, winning would not be possible. Startup companies are like that. You need a complete team to be successful. Too many superstars together may not be a good mix. 

Personality Profiles for your Team of Entrepreneurs 

Lee Iacocca once said, "A major reason capable people fail to advance is that they don't work well with their colleagues." This simple statement is the key to putting together a team of entrepreneurs. Each individual needs to be able to effectively communicate and get along with the other members of the team. When selecting that “core” group for a startup, this is one area that is often overlooked. Talent is wonderful, but how does each piece fit into the puzzle? 

How many great quarterbacks have never won a Superbowl? What about all those home run champions in baseball? Can you name one who also won the World Series the year he hit the most home runs? In the past ten years it’s only happened twice. Mark Texeira (39 home runs) won for the Yankees in 2009 and Manny Ramirez (43 home runs) took the home run crown in 2004. Both home run champs also collected World Series rings the respective years they won. 

Individual accomplishments cannot be overlooked, but it’s team building by management that keeps perennial contenders winning consistently. You can pick a superstar for your entrepreneur team if you can afford one, but make sure he or she is a team player. Your road will be less rocky if you make that a priority. 

Delegating Leads to Harmony, Duplication Creates Chaos 

Which of your team members will take point for fundraising efforts? Is there a marketing expert in the crew who can dedicate time to building your brand? Who will be the face and voice to prospective clients? You could take the “everyone is equal” approach or “pool” resources, but without specific delegation of responsibilities you could be looking at some major headaches. 

Duplication of efforts creates chaos. Each member of an entrepreneurial team can have an equal stake in the company if you choose to set it up that way (we don’t recommend it), but everyone cannot be that “voice of authority”. Decisions about what to say in certain situations need to be made as a group, but executed by individuals. Do this right and the company will run smoothly. If you do it wrong, your burn rate will put you under in the first year.