I reminisce, how during my childhood days when my grandma made choley or black chana in 1 whistle on the pressure cooker, of course after the soaking in water ritual. And today…well at times even 5 whistles may be less. That’s perhaps because that particular lot has been plucked before getting ripe. Now let me try and arrive at why this anecdote came to my mind while writing this piece.
What is important to cooking or building something, is to nurture not force. Then be it choley or be it a team. It takes intent, effort, focus and of course, the ritual of being there for each other, respecting each other’s thoughts and the art of listening to talk rather than talk to listen.
Being a people first culture is easier said than done. We hail from different cultures and over a period of time we accumulate our own set of principles and values. Now, how does one understand, absorb and share the goal which is a joint goal? One needs to believe in it and look to join each other’s strengths.
Sharing a common goal, with different approaches while keeping integrity and freedom to operate as centripetal forces may seem easy but it is not because it takes unshakeable trust and consistent effort at the core leadership level to build that as a DNA. This starts from the top and needs constant watering like we water plants to nurture.
Here I will not be talking much about KPIs and OKRs as these are the elements that step in after a strong foundation is formed and could be incorporated with specific timelines.
Today I will talk about my 6 active learnings on being a part of a dream team –
Begins with a Dream Core Team
If the core leadership team understand each other, support each other, things move fast. Else too much time is spent on endless discussions. In past 20 years, I have observed that the best of teams have concise discussions, note down action items, get a consensus on the enablers and also think few steps ahead of any specific situation. Predictive thinking only comes with conscious effort and experience and the ability to listen well equally as to speak.
Build an immediate ‘SWAT’ team
These folks are our commandos. Leave them in any situation, they will enable and make it happen. Hard to find, so once you do, their ‘induction’ should be their ‘training’ . They will know everything that you want them to know on your business front within the first week and they will engage with all cohorts without even saying. Natural hustlers with numbers on fingers, analytical bent of mind exactly know their weapon (approach to be used) in a given situation.
Don’t Hire for Hiring | Hire for Sharing a Vision
Even if the wait is longer than usual, wait and keep reviewing potential candidates. The interviewing process is something that can get you a glimpse into a bunch of psychological aspects as well. It is a predictive exercise, and there is always a risk, however, structuring this process in a well customized manner. Here we need not just a ‘resource’, we need a human being who fits into the culture first. Even while hiring for internship, look at the five core things – the drive, spirit, energy, aspiration and the left brain vs right brain.
Growth Vs Aspiration
Well, it is not Growth Vs Aspiration but how the growth ‘with respect to’ aspiration’, for every individual in the team. Attrition rate goes higher where there is an aspiration mismatch or the inability to communicate and understand each other well. Ensuring transparency and visibility across teams and ‘when’ and ‘how’ to disseminate various kinds of communication within the team, is crucial along with tracking and measuring progress of not only business but self-goals of people. Once people feel belonged…it only creates magic.
I can’t accentuate this word enough. Energy has the ability to multiply and has the ability to brighten up situations. So, simple things, starting with intent, like the way we interact, our voice, tone, expression matters deeply. Many a times the intent and energy is also ‘visible’ in the voice. Boiling to the point that this also usually flows top down. If the core leadership are high on energy, its spreads across the team and that vibrancy is unmatched. Then people don’t think pressure, because the they are doing and that too because we induce a community effect in the process.
What do you do the moment you get to know that your dream team is ready?
Work keeps happening in the background and sometimes it takes more time than usual and sometimes a dream team never happens whatever one does. You will know it the moment it is ready. It is the sixth sense. The only magic ingredients to a dream team to take shape and live are love, trust, empathy with a mix of energy in every moment. And, most of all, a dream team is precious because they stand by each other, correct each other, listen to feedback, have faster consensus, push each other to do better each day.
No one can’t just switch on teamwork. It takes time for a new team to come out of their shell and work to its full potential, while going through stages as they move from strangers to co-workers.
Hence, build by nurturing the love while also focusing on what John Doerr explained as objectives and key results (OKR) in his book Measure What Matters so as to manifest bigger and deeper.
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