‘Nobody’s perfect, but a team can be!’
So said Meredith Belbin, the internationally renowned researcher on team roles and the critical part they play in the creation of high-performing teams. This is something I have known for a number of years, having been a manager and leader of large teams throughout much of my career in the NHS. I like to think that I always acknowledged the importance of every member of the team, each playing their part in contributing to the overall goals of the service (and thus the team). My own success as a leader was of course largely due to the talented members of the team, and how well they worked together.
Imagine the shock when I chose to leave the relative safety of a career in the NHS, with a relatively secure pension, and access to all the skills available within my team of over 200 professionals. I left to set up my own Management Consulting company in late 2011 – now a team of just me (who said that there is no “I” in “team”)? Who would I go to when I needed someone to review my work? What forum would I use to generate and refine new ideas? Who could I use to bring a touch of ‘Completer-Finisher’ to a project (not one of my personal strengths)! Where would I go for specialist knowledge or experience that I had become so used to taking for granted?
These were all significant concerns to me at the time and if I am honest, nearly stopped me making the leap into the big unknown. I decided that I would face my fears and do it anyway but recognised that I needed a strategy to ensure that I could develop my own team in my new working environment. I have always been an Extrovert (for those of you that know one end of your Myers-Briggs from another) and so my well-established network across the NHS was a great strength to me. I used this to build my virtual team around me and chose to work with associates who had strengths to compensate for my weaknesses. I partnered with other small businesses to build capability to offer so much more than I could as an individual. This model worked very well and my first 2 years of providing high-quality services to my clients has been so much more successful than I could ever have hoped for.
So, what made me decide to set up a new company in partnership with another like-minded individual when the opportunity arose earlier this year? Once again I had to consider all the risks of changing direction, of working with new people and losing absolute control of my own business decisions. Surely this was madness? Well, I decided that it was time to create something new, bigger, better. I wanted to develop and grow our own ‘dream team’, to add even greater value to clients, to take on more challenging assignments where we can make so much more of a difference.
And so on the 21st February 2014 Sirius Partners Ltd was established in partnership with, Phil Trickey – to do great and exciting things for our clients, to have fun along the way, and to grow a successful business. There is so much work to do – to establish the brand, to define our service offerings, to get the website up and running, to start to win new clients and deliver excellent services so we can establish our reputation and track-record. But the important thing is that we have started an exciting journey together, as a team, with a shared vision and a passion for really making a difference – and although it is scary, it feels like the right thing to do. Whilst nobody’s perfect, I truly believe that, over time, the team will be!