Expert advice on Business Leadership and tips on becoming a more effective Leader.

Building A Successful Team By Jim Rohn

Once you’ve set a goal for yourself as a leader-whether it is to create your own enterprise, energize your organization, build a church, or excel in sports – the challenge is to find good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it’s necessary.

So to guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, I’m going to share with you a four-part checklist.

Number One: Check each candidate’s history. Seek out available information regarding the individual’s qualifications to do the job. That’s the most obvious step.

Number Two: Check the person’s interest level. If they are interested, they are probably a good prospect. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you’ve been a leader for a while, you will be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending. Arrange face-to-face conversation, and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting what I call true interest.

Number Three: Check the prospect’s responses. A response tells you a lot about someone’s integrity, character, and skills. Listen for responses like these: “You want me to get there that early?” “You want me to stay that late?” “The break is only ten minutes?” “I’ll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?” You can’t ignore these clues. A person’s responses are a good indication of his or her character and of how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves, so even if we can fool others for a while, eventually, our true selves will emerge.

And Number Four: Check results. The name of the game is results. How else can we effectively judge an individual’s performance? The final judge must be results.

There are two types of results to look for. The first is activity results. Specific results are a reflection of an individual’s productivity. Sometimes we don’t ask for this type of result right away, but it’s pretty easy to check activity. If you work for a sales organization and you’ve asked your new salesman, John, to make ten calls in the first week, it’s simple to check his results on Friday. You say, “John, how many calls did you make?” John says, “Well…” and starts telling a story, making an excuse. You respond, “John, I just need a number from one to ten.” If his results that first week are not good, it is a definite sign. You might try another week, but if that lack of precise activity continues, you’ll soon realize that John isn’t capable of becoming a member of your team.

The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. And here’s one of the skills of leadership: be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don’t let the surprises come later.

When you’re following this four-part checklist, your instincts obviously play a major role. And your instincts will improve every time you go through the process. Remember, building a good team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. It will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come.

To Your Success,
Jim Rohn
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