Who and what are the people in your business?

When it comes to recruiting and developing your team, something that is regularly overlooked by business owners is the value that an individual can bring to the fold. It isn’t just about the skills required to carry out that role, it’s the potential that person has in part of the overall development of your business.

Whatever the age of your business, if you are looking to grow an enterprise which could consist of multiple outlets in retail, or franchise operators, or indeed a single scalable organisation with many departments, the task is to develop your business model, and the major ingredient in that process is most definitely people. It’s about knowing who amongst your team are going to become the significant pieces in your jigsaw puzzle, and how you need to develop those individuals to become an important member of a dynamic team.

Entrepreneurialism, energy, passion and vision can only get you so far in business. The tangibles are the assets you need to support that process. To establish sustainability and strong foundations, the hired help are a great deal more than those that purely process certain functions in the business. If that is all you have, your business won’t go very far.

An interesting way to look at the process of people development is to consider you are actually handing over a part of your business to them, so you need them to be great at their role but also to add significant value. We all know from experience that the wrong people can have a negative impact.

So, how do you develop a business from the ground up with the right kind of people?

Here are some typical people types you need to grow that successful enterprise…

The strategist or visionary
You might be thinking, well that’s me. I started this business and I had and still have vision and know exactly what I want from the business. My team exist purely to process it and do what I say. Actually, I would say that mentality is very much associated with the many businesses that struggle to scale up and become a serious enterprise. One person is simply not enough in any business and, as you grow, you need individuals who will be visionary in their own right. They may have departmental responsibilities but they need to be able to think beyond their daily routine, making improvements and thinking innovatively about every element of what they do and, importantly, explore what they can do.

The expert (they know it all)
Technical experts know everything about your products and services. Functionality and efficiency is their passion with a desire to seek reward through improving the technicalities of your business model. They can also, as innovators, build something that is new and marketable to an existing or new audience. Remember, you are a business owner and you simply don’t have the time (or maybe the inclination) to take that part of your business forward.

The Superstar
A term very often associated with sales professionals but, in this case, they are something quite different. They are typically extrovert and always full of energy and confidence. They buy into your vision whole-heartedly and actively desire to be part of its success.

They tend to be very good at what they do, and very often want to be fed by you with responsibility to capture their ambitions. Superstars are real givers and need that regular well done, or you are a ‘Superstar’ kind of statements. They don’t necessarily get excited by the detail but are technically gifted. Very often these individuals become good leaders, thrive with added responsibility, and can motivate in your absence, keeping things in order for you. These individuals tend to be very loyal.

The wise and knowledgeable
The kind of individual you listen to intently. You know their knowledge and experience is exceptional, and they are by their very nature rational and very rounded individuals. They are considered in their opinions and will always justify that through experience. People listen to them and they make great mentors for the rest of the team.

Many have seen and experienced the kind of growth you seek, and have some answers to your own challenges.

The glass is most definitely half full
The optimist is great to have around when the pressure is on. If something isn’t going your way, the optimist is there for you. They can take that pressure off with just a few positive words, and make great motivators. A common trait is they are normally very calm under pressure and thrive on the challenges that pressure brings.

The undying optimism is a personality trait that can do a great deal for a business. Motivational, uplifting and breeds a ‘can do’ attitude amongst the wider team.

The questionable
These individuals can be deemed a negative on the business (hence the name). However, they are actually very useful individuals. They never settle for the status quo, or ‘we have always done it this way’ kind of mentality.

In engineering, these are the individuals that reverse engineer, analyse and dissect everything because they think they can do it better. Sometimes they are the eternal optimist’s arch rival or nemesis, bouncing off each other to create a rational understanding by questioning the sometimes outlandish optimism in front of them. If you have the culture right in the business, the optimist will come to rely on their questioning in a positive way. A Ying and Yang dynamic that works very well.

The communicator
A create bunch of individuals who communicate well across an organisation and beyond. They not only have the ability to communicate well, they can also articulate that communication and unravel the incumbent complexities. They strip them down into simple language and are excellent with their dialogue.

These individuals are confident around people, but also aware of how to get the best out of people. They are natural leaders that gain the respect from others because of their rationality and ability to communicate effectively. These individuals can shape a business and think beyond a problem or weigh up different scenarios in order to project the right kind of outcome through their actions. Great individuals to have in meetings and you often see your clients migrate to them, trust them and appreciate the simplicity of their statements.

So, what can we learn from this?

Every business needs each of these personalities, or indeed those that have the ability to develop the skills needed to provide that wonderful mix that is so often demonstrated in businesses that have scaled effectively to become substantial enterprises.

In my capacity as a coach, I work with the whole team and we look to develop individuals. This can very often start with DISC profiling. This particular process is extraordinarily accurate at defining the traits of a company’s key staff. It cleverly categorises a team but, importantly, it shows how individuals can develop beyond their current role, how they can take further responsibility, and how you as the business owner can empower that process. This can create significant gains within the business that ultimately impacts on your bottom line.

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