Team Building: Dos and Don’ts

This article is to thank AbdulKadhim and Hasan for their mindblowing contribution to the success of our team.

You are all different in terms of character, maturity, skills, and attitude but all of them have been fundamental for the success and balance of our team. I could have never given up on any of you.

I could have never made it without:

  • Abdul and his valuable support, assistance, patience, customer focus, and attention to detail.
  • Kadhim and his energy, good mood, enthusiasm and will to sell like a crazy, whatever was sellable and up-sellable.
  • Hasan and his complicity, a volcano of ideas, flexible and creative.

All of you are tremendous fast learners, willing to accept challenges, polite, respectful and resilient people.

The due premise

Hard work inevitably leads to good results but, in my humble opinion, a certain dose of luck is always welcome.

After several evaluation mistakes in hiring, I started selecting my team only based on the attitude, and not on the CV.

The CV can lie, it can tell a partial truth or a blatant lie. The CV is only a part of what is needed. The main part is made by attitude, energy, good manners, and mindset.

So, let’s say that you are lucky enough to choose your team and you have hired decent and trustworthy people, you can’t ruin everything only by telling them what to do!

team building

team building

The key factors

  • Respect first if you want to be respected.
  • Training, talking to them, answering questions, and testing them (not as a judgement on their persona, that should be meant only as a verification phase).
  • Listen. There are no bad ideas, don’t discard them without having all the details.
  • Explain why something is not doable, that will help also in a second moment to direct them towards your direction. Explain, re-explain and explain it again!
  • Recognition. Congratulate for the good work, say thank you, especially when your team is showing an extra effort, don’t take things for granted, and recognize their value and investment.
  • Entitle to take decisions. Give margins of action and clear instructions on how to do a job.
  • Follow up. Don’t wait until the last minute to check where are they with that task you assigned last week. Check regularly, in case something needs to be amended you will have time to do that and avoid useless panic and stress.
  • Provide feedback for good and for bad, your team needs it.
  • Encourage new ideas. The guys were volcanoes of ideas. Some were practical and doable, other less but what matter is to maintain an open vision, and explain why something is not applicable, and the limits of the circumstances. Saying NO without explaining why is a lack of respect.
  • Lead by example. Forget about the roles, if they are late for an urgent task, take 5 minutes to help them. How many times I have sat with them cutting papers, writing BEOs, or doing calculations? Especially in the apprenticeship phase, this is fundamental. Don’t let them feel alone, or responsible for a delay, you are in this all together and if for some reason they are late, you are responsible for their performance. You are not the boss because you tell them what to do, you have that role because you show them how to do it.
  • Time to laugh and time to work, we are all human beings and we all need a break from time to time. No formalities and useless rigidity in the workplace. This last point might seem banal but it is not. This is the trigger for a long-lasting relationship.

It has been one of the best experiences ever to work with you and undoubtedly one of my greatest achievements ever. Everybody can bring numbers but it has been pure magic to build such a team in such a short time.

I am sorry I had not the time to work with Noora and Peter but I am sure you would have been a perfect fit.

I wish I could bring back this dream team in another hotel, since then, don’t change an inch of who you are, you are wonderfully resilient, you are fighters, and you are my beloved Spartans!

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