Jan 23, 2011

Business team's chemistry

While working on my business launch, I can say that the greatest challenge was to form a great team, with smart, motivated, ambitious people that, most importantly, get along very well. After many trials, I can say I managed to achieve this.

So, for whoever is interested how to achieve having a great team of business associates, I have here some tips and tricks:

- Be open! Don't be afraid to share your idea. Talk about it to people you already know, and also with new people that you meet in entrepreneurial environments. As many as possible. Some will just give you a feedback, some will lead you to useful contacts, some might become your associates.

- Motivate! Talk with enthusiasm. Get to know the other people better. Make the link between their interests and your interests.

- Check the other's attitude towards the project/ business! Being experts in their field is not enough. You need people who love the project as much as you, who perceive it as their own.

- Make sure you have a balance! Make sure "the chosen ones" complete each other and you have a variety of personalities, skills etc. However, it should all fit together at the end.

- Empower! Don't dictate and don't believe you know everything best. Let the others question your idea, your plan. Be open to feedback and give the others the opportunity to manage some aspects. Invest some trust because collaboration can take you further.

- Look more for potential, rather than existing skills! People develop over time. Create a team based on personalities, attitudes and personal goals, skills can develop over time if there is potential for growth in a specific area.

- Check how the others feel with each other! Don't follow only your opinions and chemistry evaluations, but make sure everybody in the team feels good about the others.

- Mediate! You are the link, you have the overview. So you can help the others find their place and mix well.

However, even with the greatest team, always be prepared for the unexpected! You need to be able to be flexible, and remember that good leaves to make room for better :)

Jan 18, 2011

How close are we?

In the year 201x, somewhere in the University campus:

- Students are invited to RSVP on meetup.com if they are going to attend the class
- Once the class has started, present students should confirm their physical attendance by check-ins on Foursquare for the place called Room 145, University of...
- If the teacher is absent, he can teach remotely by using his avatar for live presentation
- If some students are absent, they are free to attend the class online on the Facebook group
- The lesson is composed by tweets. At the end, the Q&As session is held on Quora.
- Students chat between themselves during the class on Facebook, posting on each other's walls and commenting

The challenge is, define x! :)

Jan 4, 2011

What do you do when shit happens?

Yes, shit happens! No matter how much you plan things. There are things you cannot control, or you simply collaborate with others and some can let you down sometimes.

What makes a difference is the way you react when shit happens. And your reaction is a thing you can totally control. This is the time when you can be a fighter, a problem-solver, a challenge-taker, an entrepreneurial spirit, a leader. There is no point to get down and cry, and to blame...others, faith, whatever.

Yesterday it happened to me. A key team member for my future online business had to quit the project suddenly. This was really messing up all the plans. However, already in the next second alternatives came to my mind - I didn't have time to be upset, I had to be fast in finding solutions not to delay things even more. I met later the rest of the team and we started by discussing alternatives and made a new plan. The meeting was really productive and the team spirit increased. I was pleased to see everyone results-driven, finding solutions and collaborating. In the end, the fact that we needed to find new solutions actually helped us, since we had to  rethink some aspects. So maybe is true that good is gone only to leave room for better. And I guess that among entrepreneurs, this is a common reaction to problems.....hmm, challenges :)

Also yesterday, I assisted a fight between some colleagues (another team) over a delay in tasks. To my surprise, I assisted to a blaming and defending attitude and a growing fight instead of finding solutions, for the moment and for the future. And I was wondering why? Why weren't these people getting out of the problem as soon as possible? Why were they wasting time and energy to fight instead of finding a solution and peace? I was glad I could give a solution that pleased them and stopped the fight. But as long as I don't discover the reason behind their reaction, most probably it will happen again. Conclusion was that everybody controls their own reaction, but as a team player you can definitely help your colleagues that are facing a problem, especially since you see the issue more neutral.

What do you do when shit happens? To you or around you?