Leadership Techniques to Drive Productivity

Leadership Techniques to Drive Productivity

One of the foundations of success is a solid team.  It is rare that a single individual, no matter how strong or how wealthy, can completely run a startup.  If you want to accomplish the impossible, then a team should be built. Leading a new company to profitability only comes with hard work, determination, and an efficient team.  If you truly want your startup to succeed, then you and your teammates need to have an unstoppable mindset. Ultimately, there are four fundamental techniques to improve the team mindset of an emerging enterprise.

The “Swim Body” System

In the United States Navy Seals, a swim buddy is the most important yet smallest team.  Two swim pairs form a fire team, two fire teams form a squad and two squads form a platoon.  There are three primary goals to the swim buddy system.

  1. An experienced individual can be paired with someone who is not as experienced in order to diminish the learning gap.  The faster the experienced gap within a company is closed, the faster the “weakest” link of your team (the one with the least amount of experience) is improved.
  2. Team collaborations often problem solve faster than isolated individuals.
  3. The collection of diverse backgrounds to expeditie creativity and reduce negativity within a company.

Swim buddies should not be permanent.  Team members should be rotated during the pairing process to maximize problem-solving capabilities.  In addition, this rotation will improve camaraderie throughout the business. Ultimately, these three primary impacts work to create the ultimate team.

Model the Way You Want Your Team to Perform

The “how” behind your team’s execution and productivity is its brand.  Ultimately, this brand is nothing more than your company’s culture, and culture is a reflection of your teammates’ actions.  Overall, your team’s reflection comes from you as a leader. No detail should be forgotten when modeling the environment for your business.

What you do is emulated both internally and externally to your customers.  J. Willard Marriott once said, “Take care of associates and they’ll take care of your customers.”  Some new entrepreneurs feel that because they are the owners of their respective companies, they can operate differently than the rest of their team.  Products will come and go within a business, however the single hardest thing to obtain and retain is a winning culture focused on team collaboration and customer satisfaction.  In conclusion, as a leader it is important to always model yourself the way you expect others to emulate.

Caring Leads to Daring

One of the greatest obstacles for a leader is to replace their desire for self-gain with drive to help the team flourish.  Legendary coach John Wooden said, “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.” The best way to create a selfless environment within your startup is to show your team members how much you care for them.  The key is to help them become more focused on team development rather than their own personal gain.

It takes significant time and energy to show your teammates you have their “backs,”  however when you start displaying your care for them, they will begin to show more investment in the company.  New business owners should seek out their employees to hear their concerns and feedback on the company. Caring leaders to daring.  The more team members are cared for, the more willing they will be to accel.

Hire for Culture First

Although it is important to hire intelligent individuals when growing a business, their abilities will have little to no impact if they have a toxic personality.  Eric Schmidt in his novel, Trillion Dollar Coach, refers to the ideal team members as “smarts and hearts.”  People who have the ability and compassion to resonate with the “why” and “how” of an organization will be the most productive.

When looking for potential employees, it is important that new business owners value cultural fit above all else.  Although team diversity is critical for success, it should not be diversity of heart. All team members should be committed to making meaningful relations both within and outside the company.  The stronger these relations are, the more growth a company can achieve.


Team building requires careful consideration and a good deal of effort.  A strong team is the foundation for any strong business. Overall, with proper research and dedication, you can build your perfect startup team and officially begin your journey.


Mills, A. (2019, June 12). Leadership Techniques That Build Unstoppable Teams. Retrieved July 15, 2019, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/335126

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