Yes Men: As an aspiring businessman or businesswoman you have to realize your way isn’t the only way. How do you do that? Surround yourself with a legit team. People who will challenge you and you can challenge them in turn to create a stronger unit. However, for far too long there’s been the epidemic of “yes men”. These are people who are more than likely tagging along for the benefit instead of building. They are there to pop the bottles, be rewarded, make some money, but everything is mostly on you. You can ask them: “Should I eat Ice Cream?”, and get “Absolutely!” You can also ask “should I stick my tongue in a fan blade?” They may pause with little concern, but it will eventually be “Fuck It, It’s your tongue. Why not?” That person is toxic. Remove them from your presence immediately. The person YOU SHOULD WANT on your team is the one who will look at you in disgust and ask why and is willing to walk away because your illogical bullshit is too much for them to handle. They also recognize the responsibility to their personal brand. Aligning with a bad idea will not only hurt the face, but everyone involved, therefore it’s in their best interest to be involved. Iron sharpens Iron. Cliché but also a fact. Find men and women who aren’t afraid to challenge you. Your best friend, best asset, best partner and/or best lover are all people who won’t accept you for who you are. It’s not because you’re “not good enough” it’s because they see better, they are invested in your future. They want a better you FOR YOU and they will either get it or walk away. Those are the people you win with.
“Flash”: This may be the most toxic type of person to have in your circle of business partners. They’re referred to as “Flash” thanks to the film ‘The Five Heartbeats’ Eddie Kane felt that “his spot” was under attack by a guy that could never be him. He shows up and inquires on if “Flash” wants to be him, the star. In the movie, Eddie Kane is mostly responsible for his own demise, as would you for allowing this type of character to enter your circle. In the business world, quite a few takeovers etc. happen because the chairman/CEO never seen it coming. He/she allows the charismatic, envious partner to carve out their space and infect others within the group. Terrell Owens went to Philadelphia and wanted to be bigger than McNabb, for no other reason but what he rated himself as. Ego driven business partners who want the glory, who will challenge your leadership, isn’t in it for the team. They’re in it for self. Flash absolutely wants your spot. Flash is wondering why you’re still here. Teams work best when everyone has a defined role and they play it. One of the guys I grew up with, is my best friend. In our childhood we grew up in rough neighborhoods and times. We both were fearless but he was most dangerous. I was the thinker. While we both could absolutely do both, our friendship and business partnership works because, while we challenge each other we’re both comfortable in who we are and our strengths. The key is to find someone who is comfortable in their strengths whom you can be comfortable delegating to and bouncing ideas off of.
The ’86 Pontiac: This might be in contention the worse person to have in your business. You unfortunately have to pump the gas pedal two to three times and pet the dashboard (person) a few times to get them to start. “Come on Pauline, gotta get to work today baby, I need you to start up for me now.. come on, talk to daddy, there you go!” All of that shouldn’t be necessary. Ambition is an integral part of success. There’s no reward without it. Like every other poisonous person in this article, they’re waiting on you and the prime opportunity to capitalize. No one I have ever worked with whom provided me an opportunity to win, had to ask me to do. All you had to tell me, was that the opportunity was present. I strongly believe that if someone wants it, they go and get it. They don’t wait for you to provide, they actually bring it back. Think of it as a meal, If I’m making the Steak, and you start on the sides, we’ll eat on-time. Once in a while, I’m working on the sides, I look up and you brought back the steak and start preparing, “WE GON EAT!”. If I have to prepare the entire meal, each and every time, everyone is eating late, or at all, because sometimes, you’re just not in the mood to do all the “cooking”. A team full of self-starters, is a blessing and hard to find. Do not keep the ’86 Pontiac around. In order to get things moving, you need every part firing on all cylinders.
Building a strong team isn’t for the weak. It’s a tedious process that you have to evaluate and re-evaluate consistently. Success isn’t based off how much you like people, it’s based off how well you work together. That goes for any relationship dynamic. Success isn’t waiting on you. Greatness isn’t going to knock on your door. Everyone needs to play their respective roles on a team. A great Running back isn’t even an ‘OK’ QB. He’s good at, what he’s good at. Any other position is a misuse of skill. The Yes man will allow you to walk into walls blindfolded. “Flash” wants your spot. He/she is looking for the prime opportunity to present their case on why you’re too “weak” to lead. The right partner would spot your weakness, assist you in fixing it or watch your blindside as you watch theirs. As for the ’86 Pontiac, it’s time to simply find someone more reliable. You need it to start up on the coldest of days. You don’t have time for guessing.
Accountability, Responsibility, Respect, Teamwork… Things that make the business or brand move. Look for that in your role players and put pedal to metal.