Common Trait #1: Great Teams Have Great Members

by Steven Zyskowski


Gino Wickman, Friend and Author of the book, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, often states, “Leaders don’t often function well as part of a team.” On the surface, it would appear that it could be fairly easy to assemble a group of quality professionals who may all be willing to help each other grow their businesses by referral.

The reality is that it’s an incredibly challenging feat, as most of these people are used to acting like leaders, not necessarily as team players.

To get these people, who are somewhat prideful, to spend time thinking about helping others, not themselves, requires a bit of friendly reverse pyschology and deprogramming … what I fondly call “re-thinking”.

Anyone who has ever been part of an initial referral team formation (or who has attempted to start up a referral team by themselves or with a small group of professional friends), should know exactly what I’m referring to in the previous paragraph.

I hope this writing helps provide clarity of vision and reassurance that you can get exactly what you want from a referral team, provided the right structure is in place. The structure will produce common traits that are shared by all great referral teams.

So, who are the “right types of people” who will succeed on referral teams? In examining the referral teams that did very well over long periods of time, one major common trait was apparent: they had great people as members. Characteristics I’d use to classify “great people”:

• They’re fun to be around!
• They understand commitment. And if asked, they could easily cite examples of times they’ve given a commitment to other things in their past and have lived up to their word.
• They’re driven! They don’t have to be motivated or “bribed” to be their best. Being their best is what they’re best at!
• They’re professional and ethical.
• They tend to avoid gossip and negative people.
• Being a part of a winning team is important to them.
• Their product(s) and/or service(s) provide a true value to their customer.
• They are admired and respected by their peers.
• They get excited about helping other people and they are “wired” in a way that makes them think about others, yes others, perhaps more than they really think of themselves.
• They’re determined.
• They’re coachable / teachable.
• Humbly confident; never arrogant.
• They have realized that giving fantastic service is what keeps customers happy.

If eight out of ten members on a referral team possessed 80% or more of the above qualities, they’d have a great team in the making. The sad reality is that most referral teams are so concerned about just adding new members to their “network”, that they fatally add the wrong types of people on their teams in an effort to simply grow in membership size, thinking more people must mean … more referrals. Wrong! The side effects of attracting the wrong people can be permanently damaging.

One common trait amongst “great people” is they tend to personally know other great people. The same can be said of people who aren’t a good fit for referral team.