To build your strongest team, don't hire clones

To attract and keep talented individuals who are different than you, Entrepreneur magazine suggests a few foundational principles. SPONSORED CONTENT

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November 06, 2014 |
Steven Burns

Photo: 89studio via

Many developing leaders start out with the goal of making an army of workers and junior leaders who are like the clone armies from the last set of Star War movies – where every soldier looks and acts the same as the leader they were created to emulate. 

But to grow a successful and sustainable business, you need a team of employees who bring their unique abilities, strengths and perspectives to the challenges you will face. 

To attract and keep talented individuals who are different than you, Entrepreneur magazine suggests a few foundational principles:

1. You need a team to accomplish your goals. If you can achieve your business goal by yourself, your goals are not large enough. 

2. Other people think, believe, process information and are motivated differently than you. Some think “big picture,” others need specific details. Some are analytical, others are dreamy creative types. Some need to see the information, others need to hear it. Some need both. Some want accolades and praise, others just want a private “thanks.” 

3. Doing things your way isn’t always the best way. Your way of doing things isn’t the best way for everyone else and may not be the best way for some tasks to get done.

4. You need people different than you to make a good team. You need detailed, analytic conservative fiscal types. You need energetic, outgoing “let’s tackle the world” salespeople. You need people who communicate ideas effectively to others, both orally and in writing.  You need people who can communicate through pictures, images, colors and movement. You need dreamers and you need “get it done” implementers. 

“Find out how each team member is motivated, what is important to them, what makes them feel valued and appreciated,” the article continues. “Then, almost as an act of faith, do what they tell you is important to them, even if it doesn’t make any sense to you. You will be pleasantly surprised at the positive results you will see.”

Read more from Entrepreneur.

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, and during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After founding his own software company, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development for the company’s groundbreaking project accounting solution, BQE Core.

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