Let’s say you don’t have funding worries because funding is the biggest challenge startups face. What is the second biggest challenge startups face?
I’ll tell you what isn’t the second biggest challenge startups face. It isn’t:
A. No market need. And it isn’t…
B. Competition. And it isn’t…
C. Pricing issues. And it isn’t…
D. A poor product. And it isn’t…
E. Ignoring customers. And it isn’t…
F. The lack of a business model. And it isn’t…
G. Poor marketing.
And it isn’t any of the other issues on the list.
I started and built several companies and organizations. I’ve also helped many startup CEOs build their companies.
I can tell you, without a doubt, there is one issue (besides funding) that will stop a company’s progress in its tracks. That issue is:
A weak or mediocre team.
Weak teams can’t overcome even the most basic challenges startups face. Weak teams have…
A. No ability to successfully pivot.
It’s hard enough for a good team to have the awareness they need to pivot. But is it realistic to expect a weak to have the awareness they need to adjust their plan?
Forget it. And is it realistic to expect a weak team to successfully pivot if the team does recognize the need to make a change?
I don’t think so.
Weak teams also have…
B. No ability to successfully compete.
Weak teams produce even weaker results including poor product quality, missing product features, poor marketing, poor customer service and having the wrong pricing model. Weak teams can only survive if there is minimal competition.
I’ve seen all of these problems stop weak teams in their tracks. So how does a weak team survive?
The CEO must replace the weak team with a strong team.
Replacing a weak team isn’t easy. You usually have a lot of structural problems and cultural problems that are allowing the weak team to stay in place.
You have to be really self-aware as the CEO. You will not be able to successfully turn your company around until you fix your team issues.
Don’t make the mistake of starting with the entry-level employees. Instead, start by looking at your direct reports first.
Ask yourself this simple question: Amongst my direct reports, who is an absolute keeper?
You need to aggressively start looking for replacements for anyone who isn’t in the yes column. And every replacement needs to be a superstar.
You can quickly turn over a management team of B and C players into A players. It will take skill and determination, but you can significantly upgrade your talent level.
Now that you’ve improved your talent, you are set to successfully build and grow your company.
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