In a previous post, I stated that I believe entrepreneurial success involves our natural gifts, technical skills and soft skills. TECHNICAL SKILLS BUILD PRODUCTS . . . SOFT SKILLS BUILD COMPANIES.
A list of my top three soft skills for young entrepreneurs starts with COMMUNICATION. Many of us believe communication is transmitting our message. However, listening and clarifying are also required for communication to take place.
My choice for second of the top three soft skills is team orientation.
THE SKILLS – I’m a big fan of team activities. I grew up in a small town where sports were the primary team activity. I played team sports from age 8 to age 20. Although I haven’t played competitively in many years, I use the skills I learned playing team sports almost every day. How to work in a team, lead a team, work with people you don’t like, listen, play your role in the team, put aside your personal agenda and commit to the team mission, work hard in service of others, handle competition, win as a team and lose as a team, and make decisions.
Just as we place a high priority on being intentional about our effort and measuring the results regarding product development, customer acquisition and operations management, we must also do so when building our team oriented skills. As part of any team, we must account for the role we are playing in the team and observe the team dynamics such as how the team works, and doesn’t work, together, what causes dysfunctions in the team, what strategies, remedies and personality types lead to success. Observe, gather data, analyze and learn.
THE TAKEAWAY – Team sports, boy and girl scouts, school clubs, robotics teams, ROTC or other the military activities, professional organizations, or start your own club or organization. Even if you aren’t comfortable around people or leading others, just do it. Find or create a team with a mission you can be passionate about, become immersed in the process, and remain purposeful about acquiring the skills you need.