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““Building product is not about having a large team to manage. It is about having a small team with the right people on it.”~ Fred Wilson

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Fact: a true iconoclast is unicorn rare. Popular culture has sold us on the idea that innovators dig within their souls and against all the odds come up with the solution to save the day—all alone. T e pictures history paints of the Tomas Edison’s and Henry Fords is that they did everything from unclogging toilets to making accounts receivable calls on top of being innovators. What would Jeff Bezos be  going right now if the thousands of Sues and Bills stopped pulling orders in his warehouses? Bezos wouldn’t be rolling himself in the glory of imagining and implementing new programs for Amazon; he would be wondering why his team fell apart.

The true success of any innovator is not limited to his or her invention or idea, but the often-forgotten success lies in how that person created and maintained their team. The symbiotic relationship between “the idea” and those that make the idea a reality can never be dismissed. One might think of this as the old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials where a bar of chocolate ends up in a jar of peanut butter followed by the tagline, “Two great tastes that taste great together.”

As you develop your confidence and skills as an innovator or change agent, remember that team-building is critical to your success. The more genuine you are with your vision, the more infectious it will become for your team. Your goal is to empower your team to make good creative decisions, as well as being committed to your vision at the same level of passion you are. If you can do all of that, you will be amazed at the platform effect your team will produce.

Consider this …

1. Find at least two mentors who will give you feedback about your leadership strengths and your blind spots

2. Identify the top three most critical tasks or areas of responsibility in your business or team for which you are not the ideal person to carry them out.

3. Develop a plan to get those tasks or areas of responsibility completed by someone who’s skilled and/or naturally gifted in those areas.

 

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in The Top Performer’s Field Guide.)

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Todd Greer

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“I have worked with and around Jeff for over a decade. Jeff is a tenacious business leader and attacks challenges with a no-nonsense, thoughtful, innovator’s mindset. Equally important, he is an expert at the “human-factor,” which can completely undermine an academic approach to problem solving, and he interlaces his understanding of psychology and sociology with his many years of practical experience to produce results.”

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CEO, SpotRight, Inc.

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“The task of taking vision to a reality seemed very daunting at first, but Jeff Standridge enabled, coached, and gave me the confidence to enthusiastically push through that process. His insight is always structured, clear, logical and most of all, effective. I could not have navigated this process as efficiently without his help. “

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Consultant, Speaker and Professor, former CEO of Acxiom Brazil
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