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To be even considered a great leader, you must learn and know how to build a great team. Building a great global team that can weather many obstacles, such as increased competition globally or be dealing with economic and political uncertainty.
Obviously, there is a lot of interest from entrepreneurs and companies on how to take a business global, but as equally if not more important, an entrepreneur or company must first understand how to put a global team together. I have been very fortunate to be a part of some great global teams and even create some that were built across 23+ countries throughout my career so far.
Below are seven key aspects that I have learned in building a great global team:
Look In The Mirror
Assess yourself before doing anything else. Counter-intuitive I know, as we are talking about a team and not a leader,but the first building block the team needs to have is an honest assessment of oneself. What are your strengths, but more important what are your weaknesses?
The crafting of one's team around these attributes is vital in pushing your team in areas where you excel in and knowing when the team can help you in areas where you may not be the best. Also, having a deep understanding of one’s assets and limitations can help a leader to craft a sustainable team that develops over time and even across countries, cultures, and languages.
Identify The Team's Needs
Know thy team. Not an ancient idea, but there must be clear roles and responsibilities for each position on the team. This means creating and having job descriptions written down as it must be mandatory and common practice. Additionally, what are the short-term and long-term goals of each team member? How can this team help each member reach those goals alongside reaching the overall objectives of the team?
Making sure that there is an alignment or common thread between the goals of the company and each team member in achieving the global team’s needs. In essence, build a roadmap for success that your team can easily execute off of.
Hiring Input Should Be Team Input
After your first hire (hopefully that went successfully), you will look to add more individuals based on the company’s growth. What must not be overlooked is allowing your team to be involved and provide feedback on possible new hires.
Whether it is the interview process or on-boarding of the new hire, the team will indeed be also invested. Make sure there is a process in place that clearly communicates to the team (so it is not arbitrary), how every team member can provide feedback. It also sometimes a discussion among the team that can cause a need to revisit what is actually needed in skillset.
Be Nimble and Diverse
Having a team that has a diverse skill set and viewpoints are essential. Diversity aids team to tackle unforeseen problems globally with precision and quickness You want people to look at problems at different angles. Yes, maybe not everyone will agree initially but a discussion on how to tackle problems will lead to a better result and possibly, lead to innovative ideas that no one had thought of. Being inclusive and having gender equality also provides a more collaborative and open environment.
Encouraging and truly embracing each team member’s different working styles will help the team not only to understand each other better but also help shape the culture of the team. Leading the likelihood,the team will be nimble against adversity and be sustainable as the company grows.
Developing Shared Values
Does everyone believe in the mission or at the very least are they passionate about what they do? Are they willing to admit their mistakes? Can they course correct? Are they willing to learn new things and be coachable? Are they willing to share the glory versus placing themselves above the team? Are they collaborative and will they do the right thing?
Answering these questions and having a strong sense of the team culture are vital for global growth. You must identify what you want the team to represent. Values are something that can always be pointed to and will not get lost in translations or in culture, as it is at the very core of great individuals and teams.
Team Member Development Affects Overall Team Development
Great global teams grow over time – static teams crumble globally. Have personal growth plans for each team member. Discuss what skills they want and need to get better at their job. It is also vital to find other arenas outside their current role that they wish to have exposure to different skill sets and maybe even want to acquire, such as being part of an academic or vocational training program.
You might not be able to do all this upfront, but it is a development plan that should be revisited often. This revisit will ensure that team members are getting the most out of themselves and of the team.
Live in the Moment
New development and advancements occur in almost every field daily – from better leadership strategies or innovative apps that streamline teams better globally. Be current. Be proactive with team feedback. Be transparent and accountable.
Be loyal and trustworthy. Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate success together. This is a mindset and culture that is relatable to all. It is always about the team (even if you feel it is not) and how you are supportive of them in the now moment which can last forever.