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When building a successful team, we usually think about organisational hacks, better tools and new processes. These elements may help you, but the real thing is more profound. It’s all about your mindset: how do you work with people different from you? How much can you adapt your management for others?

This may seem like a nice and pretty thing to think about, but it isn’t. It’s the reason why big corporations fail where startups succeed and the reason why so many startups lose their talents.

Which mindset should you be in?

Is your management built towards a goal or around people?

Your company’s ability to create value for your customers depends entirely on your team. We can thus agree that your team is your most valuable asset.

This is why investors bet on teams, not ideas or products. Having an outstanding team starts with how you work with people: your relational mindset.

5 ways to get the right mindset

  1. Understand that your product is just a small thing
    Your product will evolve because of your client’s needs, pivot and market evolution. The fuel behind its evolution really is your team. Focus on the team first because everything emerges from it
  2. People are not like you at all
    This is the biggest one. We are all different, which is key in managing people. If you’re organised and detail oriented, don’t expect everyone to be like you. When used well, these differences can drive outstanding teams
  3. Put people in positions where they can express who they are
    You can drive a better management by giving a task to the ones who have a natural ease for it. Need to brainstorm about your new landing page? You probably have someone who is not organised enough to your liking but excels at multitasking, dreaming and imagine new things: give him the task!
  4. Manage accordingly to people’s way of work
    Since we’re all different, the way we work can be quite different too. Giving structure to a team is key, and it’s even more powerful when you respect the way people manage their own tasks. When you accept this, people come to you, asking how they can do better at X, Y, Z… Bonus: this makes it easier to manage and people will appreciate you giving them space
  5. Knowing your limits is understanding what others can bring to the table
    We all have our own limits. A good team is a team that acknowledges their limits and complements each other by giving the right task and position to everyone according to their talents. This is the secret behind the best teams you see: they know who is better equipped than them for a given task, without conflict or animosity. You can spot it when someone goes: “go see Jean who is far better than me at this”, seems simple, but when it’s honest it’s quite rare

You won’t get the best of a team by using new tools, establishing new processes or management solutions. Powerful teams are strong families: they respect their differences and use them to build long-term relationships. Their differences enable them to be active peer to peer mentors for the whole journey.

Getting in a mindset where differences are not just accepted but used to drive better management makes both sides win. What’s your mindset?

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