Becoming an Employer of Choice

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A close up of a team rowing in the same direction

The best team wins. Period.

The most talented individuals don’t always win. The best strategy doesn’t always win. The most innovative product won’t always win. But in my experience, the best team wins.

The formula for team-building is fairly simple. Attract and retain the best talent, get those individuals to play well together, and then leave them alone to fly. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.

High-performing teams require a high-performance culture. High-performance cultures are grounded in values and driven by a vision.

Look for players that are passionate about who you are and where you intend to go. If you’re not aligned, your competitor’s all-star may end up doing more harm than good. If aligned, their second string will help you fly.

Don’t take alignment for granted. Be intentional. Reinforce your values and remind your team of the ultimate vision. Deliberately build camaraderie. Spend time letting the team get to know each other: strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and personal stories. Continually refine your strategy and work together to solve hard problems.

When aligned, individual talents will be multipliers. When out of sync, individual talents will clash.

High-performing people want to join strong cultures. They want to be part of something greater than themselves. Winners want to join winners. Success breeds success. Look for others who value high- performing teams.

If compensation is all that matters, you’re talking to the wrong person. Walk away, no matter how talented. When a high performer is not a cultural fit, you’ve fooled yourself into thinking they are a high performer.

Hire people who are smarter and more experienced than yourself. Otherwise, you won’t trust them to do their job and you will get in the way of their success. Your job is to make sure they are aligned. Then, you need to get out of the way.

Building a great team is all about becoming an employer of choice. You need to be a destination for the types of people you want to attract. Being intentional about who you are and where you are going will lay the foundation. Deliberately building the culture and aligning the team will be your differentiator. Compensation, benefits, and cool perks play a part, but the soul of an organization is what sets it apart.

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