A version of this blog was posted on the Forbes | Coaches Council website. Read the original article here!

It’s not often that a leader gets to build their team from scratch. Sometimes, we inherit full or partial teams made up of individuals who clearly are not thriving together.

As an expert in talent optimization, one topic I’m often asked to speak about is How to Build A Dream Team. I am fortunate enough to have a thriving consulting practice experiencing growth. I wanted to share my step-by-step process on how I built the Chief Gigs Dream Team!

Talent Optimization principles state…

–that to ensure effective leadership for your organization, you must:

  1. Map leadership competencies to the business strategy.
  2. Identify senior leaders’ fit to the required competencies.
  3. Develop and execute a plan to address any leadership gaps.
  4. Embrace a philosophy of “leaders at every level.”

For in-depth information on talent optimization, check out The Predictive Index’s site on Talent Optimization.

For those who aren’t familiar with Talent Optimization’s Work Styles framework, there are four quadrants, each describing both people and strategy that fall into each quadrant.

  • Innovation & Agility (Visionary, innovative & risk-oriented)
    • (PI – high A, high B; DISC – high D, high I)
  • Results & Discipline (Driving, competitive, and demanding)
    • (PI – high A, high D; DISC – high D, high C)
  • Process & Precision (Well-organized, coordinated, and efficient)
    • (PI – high C, high D; DISC – high S, high C)
  • Teamwork & Employee Experience (Supportive, transparent, and empathetic)
    • (PI – high B, high C, DISC – high I, high S)

  1. The first step is to map leadership competencies to the business strategy.

Every new business should have a strategy. Here are the Strategic Objectives I set forth for Chief Gigs as a new consulting agency. I’ve also identified the quadrants they fall in:

  • Create or redefine our company’s brand and perception in the market – Innovation & Agility
  • Implement new systems or processes – Process & Precision
  • Develop new pricing or distribution options that will appeal to customers – Results & Discipline
  • Drive growth through increased sales or improved customer retention – Results & Discipline
  1. Identify senior leaders’ fit to the required competencies.

Each of us has superpowers that help determine where we live in the world of work.

Wendy – I happen to be plotted on the outer edge of the Innovation and Agility quadrant. Team members in this quadrant tend to focus on pursuing new innovations and are open to risk and experimentation.

Nancy – It’s true what they say about birds of a feather… Nancy was my very first hire and she sits right between Teamwork and Innovation. We worked well together at a previous job. Knowing she will help me drive innovation and think creatively, I snatched her up when she decided to start her own business as a consultant.

Together, we are well suited for objectives in the same quadrant, as well as those in adjacent (Results and Discipline) quadrants, but we are still missing leadership in Process and Precision to help us implement new systems or processes.

  1. Develop and execute a plan to address leadership gaps.

Knowing a new business requires systems and processes, and that those are not our strong points (It’s the hardest to operate in the quadrant diagonal to you), I set out to round out the team with people who are strong in the Process and Precision quadrant so all of our strategic objectives can be led by people who are truly gifted in that area.

Megan – While Megan started out as an intern, she’s proved to be an invaluable member of the team. Her primary role is our content and operations specialist, but what she really does is help translate ideas into action. If we’ve had the opportunity to work with you, Megan is the one behind logistics, from putting together folders for corporate retreats to scheduling candidate interviews!

Shelly – Last, but not least, it will take a lot more than Megan to counteract my tendencies to act first and think later. I knew we needed someone who is my opposite to deliver consulting work as well as help run the business. I’ve known Shelly for over a decade, and our time together as classmates and friends showed me, she was definitely a viable candidate for “opposite”, as she is very deliberate.  Luckily for Chief Gigs, her behavioral analytics showed that as well.

  1. Embrace a philosophy of “leaders at every level.”

When you build a team with intentionality and a culture that allows team members to thrive, leadership emerges. What does that look like?

  • We have high trust. There are no tools to monitor whether someone is working.
  • We have a very high level of psychological safety and openly discuss challenging topics and world affairs.
  • We acknowledge our shortcomings. Whether it’s turning something in late or not being as responsive as we had hoped, we identify our actions and their impact.
  • We “call each other in”. When our teammates fall short, we acknowledge that too, so we can better support each other.
  • There are no toes… Anyone can take a project and run with it.

We’ve added new services that highlight the strengths of our team members.

Whether you are building a new business or team within your place of work, consider using behavioral analytics for a more intentional approach. We’ve all heard the saying “hire for talent, train for skill.” We can take that one step further with data rooted in Talent Optimization.