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Your Startup’s Survival Depends On This

Building the right team is key — is probably the most common cliché you’ll hear from investors.

And nearly all founders turn around and build a team, using metaphors like “our team is like a great rock n roll band, everyone knows their part and together it becomes music” or “we’re like a basketball team, everybody knows what to do and we play as a team” and… you get the picture. There is one huge factor missing, especially when you’re running a startup. I’m not going to go into the metaphors of how hard building a startup is, how many ups and downs, crashes and heart breaks founders experience on the way, because you know that already. But I do want to stress the importance of having the right MINDSET in the team you’re building. If you want that team to be with you to the end, to overcome all those obstacles and get you to the promised land, just having the right people in the right position playing nicely together isn’t going to cut it. You need them to perform at peak level. How do you do that? We all know now that perks, foosball tables, a free cafeteria and such don’t do anything to employees. A sense of mission? That’s a start, but it’s just the beginning. There is a reason the best teams win again and again. Look at sports, every major league in every sport in every country has 4–5 winning teams that are contenders every year and usually win a trophy or two. Training? Sure. Talent? 100%. But training and talent are commodities that every team has. What is different is a WINNING MINDSET. This is not a metaphor or something you just say and suddenly appears. You might say “seriously? Obviously everybody wants to win”. But here you need to understand that “wanting to win” and having a winning mindset are 2 completely different things. I saw it and felt it in action during my army years but even more acutely at BBDO when we would win accounts one after the other. I was about to into the psychology of it, give examples from world class military teams, the winningest sports teams in the world. And then I found this. A story about 7(!) time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady. And it’s all you’ll need to read to begin to grasp what a winning mindset means

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