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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Team Decisions

For years, I’ve had really great teams.

Teams I’ve played on, teams I’ve led and managed and also, teams of people I’ve hired to consult with or sub-contract projects with. So, I’ve managed to learn a lot about teams over the years and one thing I will constantly stress in every seminar I teach is:

Who you surround yourself with is the most important decision you will ever make.

No matter how you apply this, it’s true and real. It matters who you marry, because you are not just marrying them, you are also surrounding yourself with several others because family is vitally important. It matters who your friends are. Because who you surround yourself with typically determines your consistency of thought and action plus your level of disclosure about your personal thoughts and feelings is higher among people you trust. How they respond to your disclosure is key. Will it be truthful and honest? Uplifting and encouraging? Supportive and understanding? Are the people you are surrounding yourself with as friends going the same direction you want to go with your life or a different direction? See how important it is?

Who you surround yourself with is the most important decision you will ever make.

Now, when you build your team for your business, department, task force or special project, let me help you by providing you some thoughts to consider about who you might want to avoid on your team.

The constant reminders: You’ll know these folks because your two most used words with them will be “don’t forget”! Don’t forget to turn in your report, don’t forget to call so and so, don’t forget we need you there by 9! These constant reminder people will do anything and everything for you, if you remind them enough times. After enough reminders, they will probably do it or be there, but it will be about 15-20 minutes later than it was supposed to be. Or they will help with your project, but you will have to explain every single detail about how to do the job assignment. The constant reminder people will almost tempt you to want to just forget getting help and do everything yourself. That would also be a wrong mistake.

The casual behavers: The essential power of intention. Ask this powerful question: What’s your intention on this project or task? If the answer is, “I don’t know”, you are in trouble. People have to have clarity of purpose and clarity of what you are trying to accomplish. If not, they will just be casually along for the ride, sipping coffee and making great conversation, but not accomplishing much. It’s funny, a lot of people typically really enjoy the casual behaver, but they don’t produce much in thier area except interesting conversation. Have you ever walked into an event or a hotel in which you were staying, and two people who were supposed to be working and greeting were in the middle of a conversation and you felt like you were interrupting by coming through? That’s what I mean by casual behavior, we see it more than we realize.

The resume builders: They are coming to be on your team for just enough time to build their resume and move on to something better. This costs you money. It costs money when you have employee turnover. I recently read some research that states it costs an employer about $15,000 when they lose an employee! Of course, then a new recruiting and onboarding process begins for the replacement. Go back to the intention question, “W’hat is your intention as far as working here?” Now, I know what you are thinking, they aren’t going to answer that honestly, right? They will not for sure, unless you ask it. You can read a lot of body language and intention based on the answer. In addition, you are not still just doing one interview are you? We need people who are committed to us as leaders.

The unhappy folks: I’ve never understood why someone would continue to go to a company for 5-10+ years and leave mad every day. It’s insanity. Yet, we know people like that, don’t we? Every day or week, the same complaints about the same things just keep rolling on. If someone went to the same restaurant every day and each time they left, they complained about the food, we would just step right up and say, “Hey, why don’t you go somewhere else to eat?” That makes logical sense, right? However, we don’t apply that same common sense in our organizations, do we? If they have been unhappy for quite some time, chances are good, they aren’t going to change that anytime soon.

The agreeable folks: You don’t want the folks who are just going to agree with you on every single thing. We have called them the “yes people”. People who don’t agree with you can be the best thing for you. Remember, my friends point earlier in this post? If you have friends who support you no matter what you do, they are not really good friends. You need friends and supporters who tell you the truth no matter what. Some of this will come in the form of disagreement. If disagreement ruffles you some, that might be a place to further your leadership development. Some of your greatest strength can come from their disagreement which will cause you to reconsider your position and plans. If you decide to continue on your course of action, that’s cool, but you’ve placed people around you who are as competent or more competent than you, so they deserve to be heard, and that’s all most good team members want.

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