As one of the co-founders of Athlete Builder, I sometimes get so caught up in my own ambition of delivering our mission that I fail to take a moment to recognize the tremendous weight and responsibility of asking others to join me on this journey. I have already made the decision to risk everything to see this idea become something successful; for my team (current and future), I am asking them to risk a lot to join our startup. Everyone that knows me well and has worked with me, understands that I will do absolutely everything in my power to make sure as a company we always march forward –- together.
As a leader, I’m subservient as much as I am controlling. My team understands that we have a plan that is well-thought-through, and does not rely on luck (i.e. low probability events), nor hope — but rather, speed and execution. At my very core, I believe in order to succeed, we need to build an incredibly tight core team. There will be times where I will need to ask each and every person on my team to make sacrifices, whether it be extra time at work as opposed to time at home, or helping out a team member whose latest committed code crashed our entire site or even asking my team to build something over from scratch because we need to change direction, or as they say in start up lingo – pivot.
The degree to which my team is willing to respond to decisions absolutely affects our ability to succeed perhaps more than any other factor in a startup. If my team is going to follow me into battle, then as a leader, I must serve them well. There is a military doctrine, “mission, team, self”. In a startup, I like to think it’s the same.
Steve Jobs called himself a recruiter. I used to think that was weird, but more and more I am realizing that team is the only key to success and the reality is, great people want to work at a winner. I know I do.
If you’re in a startup or even, a member of a great team, I want to hear from you! “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan