What is it? Being a team player consists of the ability to design, construct, and assemble essential people as well as skill sets and resources necessary for business. Being a team player suggests one’s prowess to gather a supporting cast of individuals to meet a particular situation, even though the role of the entrepreneur may not necessarily always be the leader. Organization, delegation, and assignment of roles and responsibilities are essential in development of teams.
Why is it important? Team players are an integral component of any business, even in a sole proprietorship where the business owner may also be the only employee. A team environment is a universal and indispensable part of the world of business. There are many team relationships, which allow a business to flourish, such as partner dynamics and employee interpersonal communication. An entrepreneur’s ability to build a sense of team unity is heavily required during the start-up and expansion stages of business. Team unity is characteristic of these stages, where the assignment and creative use of finite resources is a mainstay. Some of the critical components of many businesses are funding and planning. To a large degree, both of these may require external assistance from others. In establishing a working environment with others, an entrepreneur must be able to accomplish two levels of team unity. The first is being able to operate effectively with others and exhibit teamwork–the ability to work within a group of people. The second is to be able to build a team with the appropriate skill sets around a business obstacle.
How to get it if you don’t have it? Team unity can be developed out of necessity. Business is a dynamic mosaic of moving parts; business, customers, suppliers, market conditions, law, government, etc. One thing that an entrepreneur may do to obtain a sense of team unity is to assign team projects. In many cases, certain business projects are more complimentary to team completion. Make special effort to associate with others, ask for assistance, set business goals based on team effort/results, track and reward team collaboration, and foster team dynamics as much as possible.
How to develop it if you have it? First understanding that some business tasks can be more effectively completed through the assistance of others can develop team unity. Once an entrepreneur gravitates away from the loner mentality, he or she can be infinitely more open to the idea of working with others. A simple exercise, which may provide a team environment on a small scale, may be to ask for advice from others, getting their perspective on different business issues and solutions. Another useful habit is delegation. Once the tendency to do everything oneself begins to deteriorate, an entrepreneur can slowly delegate tasks to others. In many cases entrepreneurs will find that others are more capable and have a natural affinity for certain assignments.