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Thursday, 15 January 2015

5 Steps for Selecting a Winning Team

So, you have a brilliant idea and can’t wait to hit the road of implementation and making real change? You are tired of being called a ‘slackitivist’ and ‘clickactivist’? But implementing your initiative needs a thicker team? You are not enough labour to run it!

You can’t do all the tasks that will make it work. So, who do you work with? How do you select who to work with and who not to work with? I was at this crossroads in 2012. Luckily for me, I had shared my idea with a close friend, with whom we had worked before, so we were already two on the team.

Tip 1; Talk to your friends about your idea.

It is easy to find that your friends share your vision. And friends are good to work with, but make sure it is not the friendship that glues you together, rather the conviction and passion you both have, regarding the initiative. Utmost loyalty is owed to the initiative, not the friendship.

Tip 2; Look for opportunities where you can meet like-minded people

In March-April, 2012 I represented this initiative of ours at a social entrepreneurship symposium in Connecticut, Boston and New Hampshire in the United States. In the Symposium, I was attracted to someone whose idea was very much in sync with ours. Quite naturally, she also thought the same when she heard me pitching our idea. Our tripod was complete. The third leg was in place. I did not know her before the symposium. We mutually picked interest in each other because of the unity of vision.

Tip 3; Do not get excited by attention and acknowledgement

Our road as regards recruiting people o work with has not been smooth. We have already made mistakes. After the completion of the tripod, we started talking loudly to everyone about our initiative and few people of our generation did not show interest in joining. We recruited some without checking their loyalty to their initiative. As we have found out, there are several reasons why people would want to join an initiative that do not necessary benefit the initiative.

Sometimes, they have a lot of time on their hands, and so want to spend it working with you. Other times, they may be interested in developing a personal relationship with one of you, and want to use your initiative as an entry-point. Other times, they are just unemployed. There are also times when they want to use you as a ladder to climb. And indeed, they sometimes think there is some money to be earned by working with you. It is also true that some people just want to associate with success. Be focused. Let nothing else that is not related to growing the initiative not matter. Be strong enough to say No to those who are not loyal to the initiative.

Tip 4; Your initiative is your child

Without you, the founder/s, this initiative would not exist. You are parents in that sense. Do not ever neglect your child until you are absolutely sure they can fend for themselves. It is great to trust employees, directors and other people you bring on board, but they lack a parental bond to the initiative. Do not delegate your parental duties. Always, check out if the person intending to join you knows your vision and try as much to establish their commitment to this vision. Do not compromise this. Do not put your child at risk.

Tip 5: You can’t work with everybody, focus!

You have to be focused and say NO to those who are not loyal to your initiative.

I wish you well in selecting a winning team with which to implement your initiative.

Remember if you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to do so below this post. Share this with all the people in your network. you never can tell who needs it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Brian Bwesigye

Bwesigye is the Founder and Programs Manager of Center for African Cultural Excellence. He is a British Council Global Changemaker, Board President of the Uganda Youth Advisors to Washington, a Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance Associate, and a D&F Academy Fellow. He teaches at Makerere and Busoga Universities and consults with Wamunga Nabifo Inc.

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