What Does It Take to Build a Team That Can Scale Up Your Business?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On July 15, 2017

We’ve all seen images of “The Fall of Faith.” Some of us have even participated in the exercise where you close your eyes and fall backwards—and your teammates or business colleagues catch you. It’s supposed to build trust, but does it really work? Is that how you build trust in a business environment? What does it take to build a team that can scale up your business? I’d like to take a look at a couple of things that build trust in your leadership team so that you can confidently work on growing your business.

Increasing Knowledge and Skills Increases Trust. If you’re serious about growing a business (I’m talking about a situation in which you’re perhaps looking for 10x growth) you’re not going to be able to do it by yourself. You will need the help of a qualified and reliable team. You need people around you that you can trust. That means making sure that the people you rely on have the knowledge and skills they need to perform at a very high level.

You hopefully have some very talented people on your team, but that doesn’t mean they are ready to take things up a notch. They may be perfectly qualified to handle your business as it is, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be capable of handling a business that’s 10 times bigger. If you’re looking for that kind of growth, you are going to run into business opportunities and challenges you’ve never encountered before. Your team won’t automatically grow into those new responsibilities and abilities. You have to prepare them. One way is to make sure your people are learning. Suggest books to them that will challenge their thinking. Share books with your team that you’ve found inspiring (Click here for a list of the books I recommend to clients).

Compensate team members for books (or audio books) they buy to learn. Consider having a monthly book club where everyone reads that same book and then talks about it. Participate yourself and make sure you ask how participants think the principles could be applied to your business. By the way, let them make the suggestions. Don’t turn it into a lecture.

Encourage (and pay for) training that increases your team’s skill level. You don’t want to pay for boondoggles, but if you find a seminar or workshop that will improve performance in specific areas, invest in their future. You’re also investing in your company’s future.

Give Up Responsibility. It’s not enough to educate your employees. You want them to put what they learn into practice. Give them the opportunity. Give them responsibility and then step back. Let them shoulder the load. Don’t rescue or snatch back responsibility. You may even need to let some people fail. Help them to learn from that. If you never let go of responsibility, you’ll never be free to focus on other tasks that require your undivided attention.

Catching team members in a touchy-feely “Fall of Faith” exercise really won’t help team members to trust one another. And I won’t help you to trust your team. Instead, equip your team with the knowledge and skills they need to move your business forward.