9 key profiles for a great business team

In a work environment, there are numerous types of employees, each of whom matches a different business profile. Nine attributes differentiate average teams from incredibly efficient teams — when combined into a working collective these personas are able to effectively master any task or challenge. Think carefully about each role model below and ask "Which critical business profile does my team/department lack?" These characters should not be supplementary additions to a company; they must holistically become decisionmakers integral to growth and success.

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This business profile represents an original thinker who brings a unique and possibly contrasting vision. Moreover, this innovator is also a problem-solver who has the ability to keep his head out of the water to navigate the company with self-control and creativity. Their main responsibilities include designing long term winning strategies, empowering people and making decisions. Our visionary person generally serves as the CEO, but not necessarily. Henry Ford designed a unique, radically different and highly efficient process of car engineering and presented a new industrial model in the early 20th century. The result was tremendous: a 300% productivity increase in his company. The dawn of mass manufacturing and the “Fordism” era created a legacy that will never be forgotten.

1.The Conceptor – consider the manufacturing revolutionary Henry Ford

This business profile represents an original thinker who brings a unique and possibly contrasting vision. Moreover, this innovator is also a problem-solver who has the ability to keep his head out of the water to navigate the company with self-control and creativity. Their main responsibilities include designing long term winning strategies, empowering people and making decisions. Our visionary person generally serves as the CEO, but not necessarily. Henry Ford designed a unique, radically different and highly efficient process of car engineering and presented a new industrial model in the early 20th century. The result was tremendous: a 300% productivity increase in his company. The dawn of mass manufacturing and the “Fordism” era created a legacy that will never be forgotten.

2. The Promoter – think of Apple developer Steve Wozniak

Promoters take ideas and develop them. They concretely build our products and services. Moreover, promoters are passionate in their field and enthusiastic about the product/service with which they are involved. Their main responsibility is transforming a prototype into a ready-to-use product but can also include its maintenance. These people are the developers in hightechnology, builders in construction, producers in movie-making…

Steve Wozniak is the hands-on builder of the first generation of Apple computers. He built Apple I and Apple II making him the one who concretely applied the vision of Steve Jobs. The result was terrific, how a single product (Apple I) has transformed a small startup operating from a garage from the early 1980s into a global household name and the world’s most profitable company! (Fortune, 2017).

Coordinators too often are absent in companies despite their crucial role: they link the different parts of the business. Human relationship skills are their key instrument to liaise between product and sales teams, between strategy and marketing, and so on. They focus on long-term collective objectives, while simultaneously unifying teams. Transversal managers would be the title that best fits this challenging position which can make all the difference in a dynamic company.

Xavi Hernandez is not the first name that comes to mind when we think about the greatest soccer players (strikers — always in the front — are more popular).Yet, he was hugely responsible for the overwhelming success of his previous teams FC Barcelona and the Spanish national side. Like a metronome, he synchronized defense with offense, just as the business coordinator links strategy with execution, and the clients needs with product development. The benefit of this figure is proved both in Sports and Business

3. The Coordinator – envision football midfielder Xavi Hernandez

The propeller transforms a small-middle existing business into a huge brand. This charismatic profile is focused on success and likes to be continuously challenged. They possess the rare ability of having great vision, to make products and services highly scalable, by continuously opening new markets (with existing products) or bringing new products (to existing markets). These “bulldozer” characters often excel as CEO’s or VP’s of Sales.

Howard Shultz expanded Starbucks into a global empire. When he took control of the brand in 1987, there were six Starbucks coffee shops. Today there are 24,000 coffee shops, 50 million visitors daily, and 238,000 employees worldwide. Shultz was able to continuously assure the growth of the business business by penetrating into new markets.

4. The Propeller – learn about Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz

Calculated, balanced, and proactive, the analyzer is calm and neutral, handling all situations facing your company in an honest and objective manner. Their preeminent role is to fine-tune strategies, set metrics to objectives, measure the performances of teams but above all they anticipate external trends that could affect the company in the long-term. Mature companies should take advantage of such Business Designers and Analysts while startups are more likely to punctually hire former entrepreneurs.

Stanley Fischer, Israel's greatest Bank Governor, deeply reflects this profile. He brilliantly and accurately anticipated global economic changes and allowed the Israeli economy to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis long before any European country, with the incredible temerity to raise its interest rates in September 2009.

5. The Analyzer — examine the banker Stanley Fischer

Supportive and cooperative, diplomats represent and project the interests of your company. From within the company or as external actor (board member, business finder, chief evangelist), they want your business to grow the right way. Relying on excellent communication skills, their main role is introducing your business to potential clients, partners or future investors. Remember that, the CEO is not necessarily the one who presents the activities of your company the best.

 

Sheryl Sandberg perfectly reflects this key profile. Before becoming the first female board member of Starbucks, Facebook and later Walt Disney, she has represented publicly the interests of Google from 2001 to 2008 being responsible for the introduction and publishing of new Google products. Moreover, she is probably the best activist for growing female leadership in business as founder of the Lean In organization and a partner of Angela Merkel on this issue at UNO.

6. The Diplomat — exemplified by activist Sheryl Sandberg

The organizer manages the entire operation of the business and therefore bears most of the company's responsibilities. As a great multi-tasker, she makes sure that all of the work is completed within monetary and time restrictions regardless of the complexity of the process. These profiles generally serve as Chief Operations Officers and are a crucial asset to managing a large production chain.

Susan Wojcicki is an excellent example of a wonderful organizer. While hosting a young startup called Google in her own garage, she became its first employee, managing the advertising and commerce department of the young company. Moreover, her ability to lead big projects and operations has naturally enabled her to integrate YouTube and DoubleClick to Google’s family. She is, according to its founders, the most important "Googler you’ve ever heard of”.

7. The Organizer — look up Google’s first employee, Susan Wojcicki

8. The Perfectionist — none more so than Steve Jobs

The perfectionist has a huge responsibility. He is the last link in the production chain bearing the responsibility of validating the final look and feel of each product/service delivered by the company. Meticulous, they are obsessed with differentiating themselves from the competition and every product release bears that unique feel. They strive for excellence and will always produce their best work using the highest quality materials and services. They do not accept anything less than perfection.

Steve Jobs is particularly known for his perfectionism. Although other managers leave this responsibility to others, he personally would choose specific materials for the products, writing styles for its software, and the sales channels in Apple. Products had to achieve simple perfection from the very beginning of product conception by thinking of the hands of the enduser. This constant aspiration for perfection enabled Apple to sell iPods to the world, even though Apple was not a music company and succeed with iPhones even though Apple was not a telecommunications provider.

9. The Chief Expert — Amazon Cloud CTO, Werner Vogels

The chief expert brings a reliable and deep expertise to the company in a specific field. They are quick learners, excellent supervisors and extremely devoted to their vision. Their main mission is to guide the development of a new process and constantly keeping updated of the latest trends in their industries. They know how to quickly integrate new skills in the technology and business world.

Their key position is generally CTO or VP Strategy. Werner Vogels is the chief technology officer of Amazon.com and the father of the Cloud system. He played a pivotal role in driving the company’s now ubiquitous services. Thanks to this ambitious and wellconducted strategy, our items (folders, pictures, files) are become available worldwide and can be accessed through any device, from anywhere and at any time.

Frequently asked questions:


While communicating this model to thousands of people, I noticed a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of identification with the above profiles. Yet, the audiences systematically had to be reassured on three main issues. The first challenge is regarding the number of people on board. Second is about the multi-roles some team players have. Third is about the way to identify what makes a person match a specific profile.

As we just started a company, we do not have the resources to hire nine people. How should we proceed?

In this common case, the idea – and the main responsibility of the Leader 4.0 – is gradually building the team with a method. First, make sure you have on board the first three profile types. “The Conceptor” to imagine the product, “The Builder” to make it happen and “The Coordinator” to make sure you have a productmarket fit. Phase I is over when there is a prototype with which there is an opportunity to raise money. Phase II is about hiring the fourth (“The Propulsor”) and *fifth profile (“The Analyzer”) to generate revenue. Then comes phase III when we produced enough cash (or encouraging metrics) to hire the rest of the team (“The Diplomat” to represent the company, “The Organizer” to manage the operations, “The Perfectionist” to polish each item delivered and the “The Chief Expert” to navigate according to your industry trends).

Can I play two roles at the same time?

No. Even though every entrepreneur/intrapreneur on the planet is polyvalent. Yet, if we want to be excellent at one thing, we should focus on one single business challenge. Imagine an “Organizer” (responsible for all the business operations) trying to play the role of the 28 “Propulsor” (supposed to focus on the sales development of the company). This will not work. What we can do, if there is no other viable solution, is to focus for a period of time on the “Propulsor” role (being completely dedicated on the sales part) before entirely moving to an “Organizer” role to logistically deliver to clients. Even the most talented people in different field should focus on one single mission at a time.

One more thing

Company comes from the latinic words Cum Pane. Meaning, a group of people with whom (Cum) we would share a piece of bread (Pane). In other words, a “technical” team of complimentary profiles is not enough. Building a genuine Com Pany. Starts from gathering people who will take care and help each other to make the team win. And this is our responsibility as Leaders 4.0.