Teamwork starts at the top

We are talking about collaboration and good leadership. If you want to know how to get started, read on.

Silhouette of a person pulling another person up the side of a mountain top. They performing teamwork.
By Catherine Wijnberg

The most beautiful part of coming out of strict COVID lockdown has been the ability to gather together and reconnect with co-workers. I had forgotten the absolute delight of being in a room with team-mates, brainstorming ideas, sharing jokes and just laughing together.

The simple experience of connecting in our weekly team sessions has lifted my heart and soul. It has made me realise that while Zoom is a great solution and I am deeply grateful for what it has allowed us to achieve at a distance, it cannot replace the beauty of a real-time gathering of like-minded people.

It has also reminded me of the importance of collaboration as the way of the future, especially for small businesses that need to scale to be seen. Yet for entrepreneurs this can be a double-edged sword, for the personality of the entrepreneur is a struggle between wanting to live by one’s own rules and being the master of our own future.

One of the challenges of building a business to scale is exactly this – the need to balance the leader’s confidence and skill to go it alone (boer maak ’n plan) with the ability to work effectively with others. It’s one reason why so few small businesses succeed in growing, and even fewer transition from founder to second generation leader.

Strong start-up skills such as the determination, stubborn persistence and agility is quite different from the skills to manage a growing business; namely the ability to delegate, to create and manage order, work with systems and processes.

Teamwork starts at the top with leaders who have the humility and courage to know when and how to ask for help, to identify the right people to collaborate with and then to allow them to get on with the job. It’s one of those things that is so easy to talk about and yet so hard to get right in practice.

In these tough post-COVID times, many people are being forced to re-evaluate their futures and find ways to collaborate to achieve success.

So, this month, I am really delighted to share the back-story on My Octopus Teacher, which illustrates how one man had the foresight to ask for help to turn his home movies into a global success story, and how rural entrepreneurs are digging deep to adapt to their new circumstances. There are also tips for entrepreneurial success (which is also available as a podcast) as well as the third instalment on our series on business compliance. You don’t want to miss out!

Have a fabulous week!

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