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a blog by Chris Barrow

Building a new team

First meeting of the embryonic “New Team CB” today. We borrowed the board room of an accountancy practice and I arrived with my car loaded – boxes of workbooks for this week’s workshops, ring binders inherited from Barbara containing historical financial records, old cheque book stubs, badges and CD’s again for the workshops. I resembled Jed Clampett arriving in Beverley Hills (for those who can remember that far back). I began the meeting by announcing my expectations:

  1. that we would live in a world of relative chaos for the next 3 months – 12 weeks in which my support team would be figuring out which questions to ask;

  2. that in the second 3 months, the team would begin to understand which were the right questions and what the answers are;

  3. that by 8th November 2006 (6 months hence) I expect the business to be humming along just like my V8;

  4. that in the meantime we would inevitably step on each others toes like trainee ballroom dancers;

  5. that I did not want the business to be driven by the “fear of making mistakes” or the “fear of upsetting CB” – that stifles initiative;

  6. that if a system could be improved – don’t ask for permission – just go ahead and improve it.

With those ground rules in place – I then spent a good 5 hours emptying my “to do” list in their direction. After all, for an investment that is likely to exceed £100,000 in the next 12 months, I don’t expect to have to do anything other than invest:

  1. 80% of my time focus on my unique abilities (speaking, writing and coaching) and

  2. 20% of my time leading my management team.

I do not want to do any more management. It is not the best use of my time. By 3.00pm, everyone else had everything else – and I was free to drive towards the first of 4 consecutive workshops this week. The voyage of the new Team CB begins.

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