Remember the 1980 Olympic Champions…the USA Hockey Team? Remember when Mike Eruzioni called to his team to join him on the Gold Medal dais? Remember the University of Connecticut Huskies, the mean’s and women’s 2004 NCAA basketball Champions? How about their shining, smiling faces as they raised the trophies over their heads? Remember the 2004 USA Women’s Soccer team, also Olympic Champions. Did you see their Gold Medal ceremony…all of them singing the national anthem, loudly and proudly?

A winning team is a powerful, magnetic force. A winning team generates energy…and makes you want to be a part of it!

How about your company? You have a wonderful opportunity to build a winning team. Perhaps that’s the best part of being in business. What is a team? A team is something special that’s created when individuals are free to do their jobs. Teamwork is a paradox. Team members perform individually, yet are dependent on the other members for their success. A winning team is the result of each individual contributing in their own way to the achievement of their common goal.

Let’s use the UConn Huskies men’s basketball team as an example. For the 2003-2004 season, Coach Jim Calhoun’s job was to build a team. The goal: To win the NCAA Championship. He crafted the team positions and the responsibilities associated with each position. I’m certain he worked with his assistant coaches and perhaps some of the players as he refined and defined the positions. Then, he assigned players to the positions. In the position of Center, Emeka Okafor was responsible for controlling the area under the basket and scoring points from that area. The GuardsForwards…every position had certain responsibilities. Coach Calhoun’s job was to structure the team, and to bring out each individual’s best performance so as to add to the overall success of the team. The ultimate goal for every college team is to win the national championship. And in 2004 the Huskies achieved that goal!

Business, like basketball, is not a democracy. Someone has to be in charge. Someone has to lead. That’s you. Your job is to develop and lead the team to realize the company’s goals.

How do you build a team? By helping individuals win. Business author Jim Collins, in his terrific book Good to Great, suggests, “Get the right people on the bus. Get the wrong people off the bus. Then, put the right people in the right seats.”

An Organization Chart is a graphic representation of the divisions of your company, arranged according to reporting relationship. In other words, the Organization Chart lists who is responsible for what and who reports to whom. The Organization Chart represents the “seats on the bus”, the positions on the team.

Does it make you cringe to think about imposing the formal structure of an Organization Chart on your small shop? Fear not! The Organization Chart can be a wonderful tool. Recalling my many, many jobs, I can count on three fingers the number of times I actually knew for what I was responsible and to whom I was required to report. I would have loved that information on every job. It’s frustrating to not know what your responsibilities are. It’s confusing to have someone tell you what to do just to have another person tell you to do just the opposite.

Create your Organization Chart

You will need…

  • A large unadorned wall or dry erase board.
  • A stack of Post It notes…the 3×3 inch size is good.

Begin with the end in mind. What is your ultimate goal? In home service plumbing, it might be…

To achieve our sales and profitability goals by solving our customers plumbing problems to their delighted satisfaction. 

Now…back up and consider all the things that must be done to make that happen. A responsibility is WHAT needs to be DONE. On the Post Its, write down each responsibility…what needs to be done to deliver your products and services and to keep track of money, people and assets.


Organize…into Divisions and Positions

Divisions are general categories of responsibilities. On a football team, the divisions may be Offense, Defense and Special Teams. In plumbing, the divisions could be…ExecutiveM