What if you took the “I” out of most everything, including that team of yours?

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photo By striatic

What if you took the “I” out of most everything; including that “team” of yours?

Sitting in a coffee shop last week with an investor I found myself listening to a story about a local entrepreneur who has  great demand for his “food” product. Trouble is, he is unwilling to listen to anyone else on his TEAM when it comes to what must happen to grow the business.  So, his team is leaving. Yep.  My friend the investor is so fed up with the prideful, ignorance of this young entrepreneur he’s not giving him any more money and my  friend suspects  it won’t be long till this venture crashes and burns with a large “I” exclamation mark.

Startup, leadership, entrepreneurship, relationships in general are at risk because of our infatuation with I, Me. Our world, ventures, businesses, lives and organizations are  desperately in need of  more WE, TEAM, US.

In another coffee shop, late one night last week I huddled with a young entrepreneur whose attorney had asked if I would look over her business plan. The minute he said,  ‘business plan’ I knew we had trouble, investors want to see executive summaries. We discussed her model and ultimately the conversation climaxed when she showed me a visual of her “TEAM”. ( the worst type of climax)  Her’ go to market’ team. Her name of course, was on the top  and then holy rosary, you’ve got to be kidding me her name was also in  a couple of the boxes across the next row. The positions included weren’t critical to drive her differentiation. And no one on the team had any prior experience building a company, running a company or raising capital.

Hmm? So we went into it.It was open pride surgery!

“Who the heck are you to go ask someone for 5M with this kind of team?”  I asked.

“You will be laughed out of the room- and why do you think you should be the CEO of this venture?”

We went around and around- and eventually crafted an entirely different schematic with positions based on key knowledge ( success drivers) of the business…We will meet again..

Independence versus Interdependence? Where might you be choosing independence, where in fact, interdependence might be preferable?

Look around you? How much of what you do and think about is I, me?  Is this team really here for YOU? Are people working for YOU, ME? Or are they here for a bigger purpose, reasons of their own

Most of us have leadership and entrepreneurship wrong. Backwards. It’s not about us…it’s about them. It’s not spelled with an “I” it’s spelled “team” And it looks a heck of a lot more like service than it does control.

What might happen if you took the “I” out of every moment and thought more about that “team” you are on, want to be on or are leading?

Pam Hoelzle

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