One of the most important elements to being a successful leader is building the right team. You must define the roles you need and know how to fill those roles or develop the right people into those roles. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share these nine tips for building a killer team.

1. Look for real talent. Hire people who are smarter and have more experience than you. You may want to feel like the smartest and most experienced member of your team, but your team will be much better off if that’s not the case.

2. Seek out different skill sets. When you’re building a small team, it’s incredibly important that each member bring something different to the table. Make sure your team members know that you aren’t simply looking for a “yes” person. You value their opinions—especially when they differ from yours.

3. Avoid the temptation to micromanage. Everyone needs direction and management, but no one likes to be micromanaged. Give your team a goal and let them achieve it. They might do things differently than you would, but that’s perfectly fine—maybe even better.

4. Hire people who believe in your product. You can’t teach an employee to care. If they aren’t thrilled by the opportunity to work with you, take a pass. People who truly believe in and support what you’re doing will work the hardest for you.

5. Recognize that different people have different goals. For some, it’s money. For others, it’s recognition. Make sure you understand what your team member’s long-term goals are and how you can help them achieve them. They will be incredibly loyal to you if you do this.

6. Set the bar high. Everyone should be on the same page in regards to what you expect and hope for. From the very onset, I make it clear that it’s important to me that people own up to their mistakes immediately. If you acknowledge it, we’ll move on, and it’s over. No harm no foul. Great communication is essential for a killer team.

7. Create a safe space. We all make mistakes—it’s better to be able to laugh with them than cry. We all have insecurities. A killer team doesn’t prey on the insecurities of another member, it works to lift them up. Take the time and effort to create an open, welcoming environment.

8. Never stop learning. Make educating your team a priority. When people feel like they’re learning, they’re much more engaged with their work.

9. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements as a group. There will be lots of small successes along the way. Keep your team focused and excited by making the effort to celebrate these, too. Enjoy the journey together.

Source: Stephen Key is an inventor, author, speaker and co-founder of InventRight, LLC, a Glenbrook, Nevada-based company that educates entrepreneurs in how to bring ideas to market.