You must galvanise the team and make sure the whole operation isn’t undermined by politics and infighting, or apathy or blame avoidance. The culture of the entire organisation comes from the top. Disrespect people, talk down to them and that attitude will permeate through and poison the entire company.
How do you manage and motivate competing personalities and make sure everyone is pulling in the same direction? The answer is to practice good leadership. To lead by example and make people want to follow you.
Ensure people are pleasant and work to make the office a nice place to spend time. Put it in their contract. Pull people up on it. Camaraderie, loyalty to one another, is a stronger force than competition.
Demonstrate appreciation for their efforts. Positive reinforcement is more effective than negative reinforcement in creating behavioural change. Reward works better than punishment.
Don’t avoid or partition blame
It’s creepy and weak. Take the hit for mistakes made by you and by members of your team, it inspires loyalty and doesn’t cost you anything. Keep it together, be cool.
Treat people right
Ever worked as a waitress/barmen and had a customer talk down to you? Ever had a boss be rude to you? You sucked it up because you needed the money but it put hate in your heart. Did you swear to treat people right when you ran things? Of course you did. Don’t ever belittle anyone or cause them to lose face in front of others, if you need to have a word with someone do it in private.
Everything should be up for discussion in a start-up. Encourage everyone on the team to think and act entrepreneurially. Good ideas can come from anyone at any time. Be receptive and encourage that culture.
Manage around obstacles
Keep your eyes on the road ahead. Richard Branson , now worth about £2 billion, offers this advice: “Obstacles and challenges are healthy for everyone.”
Good entrepreneurs are mentors to everyone on their team. Effective entrepreneurs are not afraid to get their hands dirty. Give people the skills to do their job, tell them what is expected of them and let them get on with it.