How to successfully build a great management team

By: Will Kester
10 December, 2009

A company is not a democracy – it's better. In a democracy, the majority wins. In a good management team, all positive input wins, and all negative input is dismissed. Achieving that type of team is difficult, but worth the effort.

Good teams need good leaders and good followers. All the members should be both. Good people make good managers. Bad people often make strong managers but bad teams. Some good people make bad managers, in poorly managed teams.

A great, but overused, saying is that "90% of all managers are poor managers."

The reasons are numerous: bad teams make bad managers; bad owners make bad managers; poor training makes bad managers; bad people make bad managers; and egos can make bad management teams.

All these can be overcome with good team management, as strengths and weaknesses are incorporated into good teams, and good training and cooperation become the rule, not the exception.

I often use my basketball coach as an example of good management skills. We won 72 straight games in three years. Because we were exceptionally talented? I wish, but unfortunately not.

Instead, he used each player's strengths to cover for each other player's weaknesses.

Managing a business is like coaching: you are there to win, and you play with the players you have, but you can also recruit to improve your performance.

If you have someone who is destroying the team, they have to go, but bringing them into the team is cheaper than starting over with a new player.

The key is to balance the pros and cons, and make a decision, after listening to the players.

But one thing remains to keep in mind: it's not a democracy, it’s a business.