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Building a “HOT Team”

by James Canada

When trying to launch or take charge of any business, big or small, there’s a tendency to feel like you need to shoulder all the burden yourself. After all, you’re the boss, the manager, and the credit for your company’s successes—and the blame for its failures—stops at your desk.

But even though a certain measure of self-reliance is what got you here, remember that a leader is only as strong as the team they build around them. Pick the right people, empower them, and then get out of their way. If you place your trust in them and give them some autonomy, you will be rewarded with more creativity, focus and energy from the individual members as well as the team.

I like to use the term HOT Team. A HOT Team is a high-functioning group that exhibits passion, enthusiasm and support for one another. They never shrink from a challenge when it comes to large projects or short deadlines.

Here are some things you can do to assemble your own HOT Team.

1. Make sure each team member understands the vision and direction of the company and that everything they do is ultimately viewed through that lens.

2. Try to find people who are not only talented and motivated, but also enthusiastic about the task at hand and, most importantly, excited to be a part of this group.

3. Lead by example. Show them your own enthusiasm in creating this group. Share your energy. And, crucially, listen to their ideas and feedback; do your best to adopt their ideas with minimal reworking or rewriting. Give them a voice at the table and a part of the finished product to be proud of.

4. Provide them with all the tools to be successful, whether it’s a specific piece of software, a setting that stimulates creativity, or just time and understanding to get the job done right.

5. Get out of the way. Sometimes your very presence can inhibit employees from truly expressing themselves and giving honest criticism. Don’t abandon the team! But make sure that, while you are present, you are not always standing at the head of the table or the front of the room, unintentionally playing the part of dictator.

All of this will help you lay the essential foundation of trust upon which your team can start to build the future of your company. In the coming months, we will be diving deeper into techniques, tools and tips on how to make your HOT Team successful in doing so.

James H. Canada is managing partner/CEO for Alliance Technologies LLC, ITEN mentor and author of “Corporate to Entrepreneur: Strategies for Success.” Contact Jim at, 636-734-2337 or

Submitted 1 years 130 days ago
Categories: categoryEntrepreneur's Toolbox
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