How I Have Assembled an Awesome Team


We purposely don’t have many sacred cows in the businesses that I run. We adapt and change fast and have become “platform agnostics” so we can server our clients better in a fast-changing business environment. Sacred cows only slow things down and are always self serving. There are three things, however, that we fight hard never to compromise. And if we ever do, we are quickly reminded of their importance and why after all these years, they are still relevant. We call it our 3 C’s.

These core values are more than just posters on a wall or words on a website. These helped form the DNA of  these businesses and have everything to do with the environment we create internally. We take our time to hire someone at The A Group, so managing them is an easier process.

hiring a winning team

C is for Character
Character is a foundation of any success enterprise. Therefore you cannot have an organization with high ethics if your employees (or customers, for that matter) lack integrity. This should be an obvious one, but you would be surprised of how many people find “gray areas” where there should not be any.

C is for Competence
A successful enterprise is formed by competent people who know their job and do it well. As I heard Jim Wright, CEO of Tractor Supply Co say, “If you have a C player, help him to become a B player or set him free.” Without competence your character is only able to keep you in the game for a little while. You will never be competitive with a bunch of mediocre people around you. Leaders who cannot get beyond hiring smarter, more talented people than themselves will stunt growth and lead struggling organizations. That’s specially true of churches.

C is for Chemistry
The team must function as a team or the entire organization suffers. In the past I made the mistake of not paying much attention to chemistry with disastrous results. I had competent people who couldn’t get along and the tension in meetings was terrible. I also had to fire a few clients along the way because we just didn’t get along. Every conversation was a push back and every project was a painful exercise in “not screwing up” instead of a partnership into creating something great while having latitude to fail along the way. If there is no trust, grace and collaboration, you might have a mob, but you do not have a team.

What’s the best or worst team you have been part of? Why?

  • Bob

    The worst team I have ever been par of it unfortunately is my current one. People here use email in a negative, condescending way. It’s all about pointing out who’s wrong and cornering their butts. There is no “trust, grace and collaboration.” As a result I’m looking for a new job. 

  • Shari

    Do I need to live in TN to apply for your team? 🙂
    Where I currently work, a highly political corporate culture feeds the sacred cows.
    What you have described in your group is extremely rare in my experience.

  • Before I became a Christian I worked for two partners who were always going behind each others backs. One would take money and tell me not to tell the other. I thought this was how businesses ran. If they could be dishonest, so could I. When I came to know Christ, my perspective changed. I had to leave in order to pursue my own road to good character. 

  • I’ve only ever had one boss I enjoyed working for, and the reason I enjoyed her is because I respected her. She had integrity, she never asked her employees to do something she wasn’t willing to do herself, she never micro-managed, and she made every employee feel that his or her ideas and opinions mattered.  Working for her was the only time in my life I actually loved getting up and going to work and the only time staying late didn’t feel like an imposition.  I sent her an e-mail not too long ago thanking her for her leadership and for the example she set for me. In a couple of years when I start my counseling center, I plan to implement a lot of her leadership ideas and pray I can be the kind of boss that has employees who love coming to work every day.

  • good post
    A follow up post would be for you to explain how you determine if the potential team member meets the 3 Cs. The first two would seem to be the easiest to determine, the 3rd C however seems to be the one that would take some time and some interaction with the other members of your team.

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