Building your army

Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash
“In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.” – Lou Holtz

Entrepreneurial businesses strive to grow continuously. Firms pursue new markets, promote new solutions, integrate new teams, etc. Regardless of the objective, your firm has to build a team that can successfully respond to the need for organizational change.

In a previous post, I wrote about the traits I pursue to build successful teams. Since that time I have revised my view and added another resource type. I want to take a second to explain why every team should include soldiers, spies and diplomats.

Soldiers have a singular focus. They are a highly-specialized and proficient in their tasks. You rely on them to achieve a goal with little deviation and high efficiency. They are most successful with clear objectives and flexibility to move indepentently towards that goal. Soldiers will help deliver for your firm and build trust within the organization, but you must provide clear direction and support.

Spies seek context. They gather information and make connections among internal and external teams. You can trust them to gather and collate critical information to help build a clear context of your goals. They develop lines of communications and gather insights that can alert you to potential challenges. Spies will provide you insights on how projects are evolving, so your firm can prepare and adapt to changing dynamics.

Diplomats build relationships. They listen to employees and customers to encourage collaborative action. They monitor progress, provide a buffer to conflicts, motivate teams, and communicate among participants in constructive ways. When difficult converstation are needed, you can trust them to help all parties feel equally represented.

Please don't assume that these resource types inform hierarchy or align to a specific team role! I have found that successful organizational change is more about blending these perspectives in a complementary way than assigning/assuming them to a role or title.