Category Archives: Team

Location, Location, Location

 

city

It amazes me how many people cling to the romantic notion of starting a new business in their garage. Garages are typically full of stuff (including your car), poorly lit, and cold due to a lack of insulation. Your garage is also attached to your home which means you’ve chosen a location for your business based on where you live right now.

That a dangerous mistake.

Even if you are not starting a retail store or a restaurant, location is an important factor in the success of your business. It might not seem so at first when it is just you, your laptop and a phone working from a coffee shop. However, if you are successful and need to grow then you want to make sure you are in a city that facilitates your growth. Just like natural resources fuel economic growth, your company will need business resources to grow.

Three common business resources that depend on your location are: Employees, Financing and Customers.

Location Based Employees

Assuming your business takes off, you will want to grow your team quickly. This might mean hiring engineers, artists, sales people or simple manual labor. Whatever kinds of employees your business calls for, you want to make sure you have a ready supply of candidates in your area to fill those positions.

It is not a coincidence that you find many companies in the same industry gravitating to the same city. Companies in the same industry hire the same kinds of people, and often away from each other. This creates a liquid workforce where you can quickly scale up when you are successful by drawing from employees at larger companies in the same industry.

The major drawback to being in close vicinity to many other companies in the same industry is that your employees are more likely to be poached by those companies. Ideally, you want to find somewhere with enough density to make hiring easy but not so dense that employees will switch jobs every six months.

Location Based Financing

At some point your company will require outside capital to continue to grow. Despite the global nature of business these days, most early ventures are initially funded by local investors. There is so much risk in early ventures that investors focus on the people more than the business and to do that they need to meet you in person. Of course, to be funded by locals there need to be locals that invest in your kind of business. While there may be investors in your city, if they don’t typically invest in your kind of business you will have an uphill battle to raise money.

Put simply, you want to be in a business that your city is in already. It’s easiest to raise money for a high tech company in San Francisco and for a new hedge fund in New York City but if you need to finance a new farm both places will prove difficult.

You want to be in a business that your city is in already.

The good news is that if you’ve already chosen a place with a large pool of potential employees, chances are that they work for competitors and those competitors have raised financing already. That means you might already have an educated investor community.

Location Based Customers

While you can reach customers by email, phone and even video these days there is no replacement for meeting your customers in person. Sales is still a very human activity and your ability to sit down with potential customers and understand their needs will be critical to your success. While you can’t work in the same city as all of your customers, you want to be close to enough of them to fuel your early sales and product development.

Another added benefit of being close to your customers is that other companies who service the same customers will be there as well. This means you will have more opportunities to develop partnerships (and potentially be acquired).

Moving On

The reality is that any location you choose will never be perfect. Whether to move your business, or even your home, somewhere new is a decision that you will need to make after weighing the facts. It is possible that the potential of easier financing is outweighed by your desire to be near your family, which is a very logical decision. However, realizing that limitation up front means that you can plan ahead and work harder to overcome it.

Thanks to Evan Cooke for inspiring this post. He promised me a job cleaning his yacht in exchange for covering the topic. 

Photo made available via Creative Commons by Jim Trodel on Flickr

Recruiting is a form of Sales

Starting on the first day of your new company, 3118776394_d88167cc3eone of your most important jobs will be recruiting a team around you. That includes co-founders, employees and even your supporting cast like lawyers and accountants. Anyone that works on behalf of your company is someone you will need to recruit as the best people always have many options available to them.

Many people think of recruiting as interviewing. The traditional model for recruiting is to write a job description, field resumes and then interview candidates who need to prove you to that they deserve the job. If someone does, you offer them the job and they accept it. It is a very self-centric way to think about recruiting because you focus on your own need instead of the needs of the candidate. It is also a great way to fail.

Recruiting is a two way street. You need to make sure that the candidate can do the job but you must also make sure they want the job. It is critical that you make your recruiting process equal parts evaluation and selling so that you maximize the chances of closing the best people. The best way to think about recruiting is that every single candidate that talks with you, whether you hire them or not, should walk out of your interviews wanting to work for your company.

Every single candidate that talks with you, whether you hire them or not, should walk out of your interviews wanting to work for your company.

So, how do you sell your company during an interview?

Selling your company to candidates takes practice and the successful sales pitch will vary depending on the candidate. Note that selling your company is not the same as allowing the candidate to ask you questions. Selling is proactive. Sales people exist specifically because you cannot expect customers to just throw their money at you, in the same way you can’t expect candidates to magically want to work for you.

Here are some ways to make sure you make the case for your company:

  • Ask the candidate what criteria they are using to select their next job and take the time to understand them. Then go through that criteria one by one to show how your company not only meets the criteria but well exceeds it. Listening to the candidate and understanding their perspective is always better than just tossing around the same talking points.
  • Emphasize what makes your company unique, something they can’t get anywhere else. Is it the culture, the technology, the customers? Whatever it is, make sure the candidate has a strong association between your company and your unique characteristics.
  • Give anecdotes about why other people (including you) have chosen your company, and what their life has been like after joining. People love to hear that others who made the same decision worked on cool projects, got promoted quickly or were able to do things they have never done before.
  • Make it personal for them. Talk about how their background makes them the perfect fit for your company and how they will make your company more successful. Candidates that feel like you know them and value them will build a more personal connection.

When making the case for your company, remember that repetition is the key to marketing. If you feel that something is really important for them to consider in their decision, don’t be afraid to bring it up a few times.

It should go without saying, but it is more important to be honest than persuasive. If you lie to a candidate, and tell them what they want to hear, it will inevitably come out and cause more harm than good. Most candidates would prefer to hear the honest story of your company, both good and bad, instead of only the good or lying about the bad. You will be surprised how persuasive the truth can become.

Square Peg, Round Hole 

Even after making your case effectively, you still might not be able to convince an amazing candidate to join your company. Often, this is because the job you have is not exactly what they are look for in their next job. This is where selling becomes front and center in your process because a sales person never goes into a customer with only a single product to sell them. Being flexible and adapting to customer challenges is what makes effective sales people.

If you are faced with an amazing person who you want on your team, you should not be afraid to change the job or create a new job that better matches what they want to do. If the person is an engineer who wants to do product management, and you think they can, create a hybrid product/engineering position. If the person is in sales but wants to do marketing, create a customer development job where they can do both. Truly amazing people are few and far between, so if you find one you want them on your team in whatever form that might take.

Recruiting is a team sport

In the end, candidates will meet some if not all of your team as part of the recruiting process. If you are the only one selling, then your chances of closing a great person are low. Everyone on your team should be following these same guidelines and making the case for your company at every step of the process.

Go through your own recruiting process yourself so you see it from the candidate’s perspective.

Don’t assume that people on your team know how to effectively interview and recruit, be sure to train them and help them practice before talking to candidates. One great way to do that is to go through your own recruiting process yourself so you see it from the candidate’s perspective.

There is no substitute for a great team. More than anything else you do in starting your company, recruiting your team will have the biggest impact on your future success. If you are successful in building an amazing team and make sure they are happy in what they do, your company will start to attract more amazing people who want to be part of a great team. When that happens, you have made your team a competitive advantage – one that will pay huge dividends down the line.

Image made available via Creative Commons by BFI Business Furniture, Inc.

Hire Before Its Too Late

Hiring is a lot like fighting a fire, if you wait too long to deal with it then it might have already burnt your house down. In the early days of your new company (even when it’s just you), there are always a ton of great reasons to wait on hiring. You’ve probably thought to yourself:

  • I can’t afford another salary right now.
  • There isn’t enough for another person to do.
  • I really need to do this myself to make sure it’s done right.

All of those sound like reasonable justifications for not hiring, but they are really just excuses. Hiring is intimidating, time consuming and hard to do well so you will avoid it as long as you can. At the same time, it is one of the most critical factors in your success.

To be successful, you need to be able to make the decision on who to hire and when.

The Power of Focus

A very good rule of thumb for who you need at your company in the early days is that every essential function at your company should have at least one person whose entire focus and responsibility is for that one thing.

Every essential function at your company should have at least one person whose entire focus and responsibility is for that one thing.

While the term “essential function” might seem vague, it covers anything that your company MUST do well to succeed. For example, if you are counting on your launch to have a big impact there should be someone on your team who is solely focused on the launch. If you are scaling up a complex software platform, someone should be solely focused on scaling. If you are raising funding, someone will be spending all of their time on fundraising. The person assigned to each task might be the CEO, a co-founder or an employee but it needs to be someone.

Why is it so important to have someone dedicated to that function? Can’t you just split the work among the team you have? Sure, but then you are splitting focus and accountability. If you have two top priorities you will only spend half of your time on each and hence do each half as well as you could. Having a sole priority means that someone will do a great job and be held accountable for performance with the rest of the team. If something is essential to your company’s success you cannot afford to have someone do less than their best.

Does it mean everyone only does one thing? No, but every essential function needs a dedicated person. If you have as many people as essential functions then, yes, everyone has only one thing to focus on. Perhaps that means you should hire some more people.

The list of essential functions is entirely up to you and very dependent on your business. However, it should already be reflected in the top priorities for your business that you review with your team regularly and are baked into everything that you do. If you have a top priority that does not have a dedicated person next to it, then it’s time to start hiring.

Get a Head Start

Even if you have made the decision that you need to hire to fill an essential function, you can still fall into the trap of putting it off. You will be busy in the chaos of building your business and with all of the short term urgent issues the long term benefits of hiring seem easy to put off.

However, putting off hiring is a dangerous trap. If you don’t anticipate and hire ahead of your needs then you’ll find yourself stalling out and suffering later. You can’t just snap your fingers and make employees appear after all. Consider that even if you decide to hire someone tomorrow you still need to spend the following amount of time:

  2 months searching for the right candidate
+ 2 weeks notice at their current company
+ 1 month training before they are productive
  ----
  3.5 months lead time

And that assumes they don’t take any time off between jobs. For sales people you need to assume another 2 months after training before they are productive because you can’t close deals the minute you start selling. That means that you need almost 6 months lead time before sales people will be productive after you decide you hire one.

To put it in perspective, let’s say you are an enterprise sales driven company (revenue is derived from sales people) and you have a revenue forecast that has you growing by 10x in nine months. Your hiring plan should reflect that you need to grow your sales team by an equivalent amount and account for lead time before they become productive.

Hiring Ahead Correctly (1)

In order to meet your aggressive nine month revenue growth plan, you need to start recruiting aggressively in the next three months with the goal of hiring one new hire in month 3, 2 in month 4 and 4 in month 5. This assumes equivalent production per salesperson which is a safe assumption and plenty of lead time for both recruiting and on-boarding.

If you had taken a conservative approach to hiring and only hired 1 sales person per month, you would have failed before you even started. Nine months later you would wonder why you are falling short of your plan and why it’s taking so long to ramp up your team.

This example uses sales people, but the same principle applies to engineers, marketers and every other part of your business. If you don’t think you can hire enough people to meet your plan based on the lead time to productivity, perhaps you need to revisit your goals. If you MUST reach your goals, then you better hire ahead of the goal.

Hiring is Selling

Even after deciding who to hire and giving yourself enough lead time, you will probably fall back on the final excuse: I can’t afford another person right now.

That might be true, very few new businesses can afford the salaries of their founding team and definitely can’t afford new hires. Regardless, that should not stop you. As an early stage company you can offer prospective employees things they can’t get elsewhere: large amounts of equity and the chance to be in on the ground floor of a huge company.

Many people work for start up companies for fractions of a percent ownership later in their lifetime when there is less risk. Many of those same people would jump at the chance to own a few percentage points of a new company, even if they need to work for much less salary or even minimum wage. Don’t worry about giving these people a generous equity package because they will become the leaders as your company grows, hiring and building teams of their own. You want them to feel as much ownership in your company as possible.

Also remember that as you become more successful, you will start paying better salaries. Someone who joins you early for a lot of equity and a low salary will eventually get a better salary, and still own their equity. Many people would take that trade and live off their savings for 6-12 months, especially the kinds of people you would want to hire.

In the end, hiring is hard and it’s easy to put off. However, the satisfaction you get from hiring great people to fill important needs for your business and see them contribute to its success is one of the best rewards.

You Are Your Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is an elusive thing. Everyone agrees that you need to have a great one, but no one can really define what it is and what makes a given culture “great”. You can read books about legendary corporate cultures like they have at Zappos, but the lessons you learn never seem directly applicable to your company.

How then do you build the kind of corporate culture you want?

In reality, you start defining your corporate culture the minute you start your new company. You might not even realize it, but the decisions you make (and more importantly how you make them) add up quickly into a culture. For example, do you:

  • Discuss major decisions with your team or delegate responsibility to one person?
  • Communicate status in person or through written documents (git comments count)?
  • Involve everyone in hiring decisions or just a small team?
  • Use outsourced help or not?

There are no right or wrong answers to any of the above, but as you choose you start to define your company. You make dozens, if not hundreds, of these decisions everyday in the first few months of your company and eventually they add up. As new employees join, they see the company as the sum of the decisions you have made which in turn shapes how they interact with the company and contribute to the culture. Eventually, a small decision you made early made can affect how a team of hundreds of people goes about doing their jobs.

With that in mind, you have three levers for controlling how your corporate culture evolves:

  1. The types of people you hire. When you first start you have no culture as a company, only personalities as individuals. Those personalities, and the decisions they lead you to make, will start forming the basis of habits which become process which becomes the lifeblood of your company. The best way to end up with a culture you want is to start with personalities you like and decisions that you want to stand by in the future.
  2. The decisions you makeThink about the culture you would like your company to have a few years down the road and make decisions that people at that company would make. Again, decisions become processes before you know it so be sure that any decision you make is one you would make again and again. Define a mission that can act as a guide for future employees who face decisions, like yours, that might shape corporate culture.
  3. The incentives you give your team. People will always tend to do what is in their best interest so it is important to align their incentives with not just what you want them to do but how you would like them to do it. For example, if you want a culture that values customer happiness, make sure that your sales people are not just compensated on closing the deal, but also on whether that same customer makes additional purchases in the future. With the right incentives in place you will find that the behaviors you want to encourage become part of the operating fabric of the company.

The best way to see if your corporate culture is growing the way you like is to test it on a regular basis. Challenge your team in ways that require them to lean on the culture of the company such as shuffling their responsibilities for a day. If everyone showed up tomorrow and had to do a different job than they knew, how will they communicate and how will they work together? It can tell you a lot about whether you are headed in the right direction.

Decisions become processes. Processes become habits. Habits become culture.

The good news is that if you succeed in building a healthy corporate culture it will become a virtuous cycle, as you will begin attracting the kinds of employees who want to be part of the culture you have created. Attracting more and more like-minded people will increase the strength of the culture even further, attracting even more people.

If you understand the culture you want to have and start, from the beginning, to lay a solid foundation it is likely that one day you will show up for work and have the kind of company you always wanted to build and a place where you love to work. That is one of the most fulfilling achievements of all.

Confidence vs. Arrogance

Starting companies is hard, and it is true that the world is out to get you. It is no coincidence that many of the most famous entrepreneurs and CEOs of Fortune 100 companies are borderline narcissists. In order to overcome the armies of naysayers you need a preponderance of confidence, bordering on arrogance. While everyone is telling you ‘no’, you need to continue to respond ‘yes’.

However, it is dangerous to cross that line. Arrogance can make you sloppy and lead to mistakes. You need to be confident enough to believe in yourself when no one else does, but humble enough to realize that you will only succeed if you execute flawlessly.

If you’re afraid you are near the edge, take the following quiz and find out if you are Confident or Arrogant:

1. Do you think or know that you are better than your competition?

Arrogant Answer: You think you are better than your competition because you have worked really hard, you like your product a lot more than your competition and imagine your customers must as well. This also applies if you think a great new feature you will release next week will change the market overnight.

Confident Answer: You know you are better than your competition because a majority of your customers tell you that you are, or better yet if your metrics demonstrate it. You have done a full competitive analysis and understand your strengths and weaknesses as well as expected changes in the industry over the next twelve months.

2. Do you think or know that your employees are happy?

Arrogant: You think your employees are happy because you are happy and they seem to have fun around the office. You throw office parties and have social events on a regular basis that you enjoy, so they should as well.

Confident: You know your employees are happy because you ask them regularly. You understand why they like working for your company, where they aspire to go in their careers and are doing your best to help all of them achieve their goals. You still have social events, but you ask your team what they like to do instead of just doing what you want. 

3. Do you think or know your investors are happy with your performance?

Arrogant: You think your investors are happy because your metrics are improving and you are in a hot space. You assume that since they don’t ask many questions during your board meetings that you have already answered them.

Confident: You know your investors are happy because you have asked them about their expectations for your company’s performance and how it relates to their investment strategy. You brief them about important events ahead of board meetings and meet with them individually on a regular basis to get their private feedback.

4. Do you think or know you have enough capital to reach your next milestone?

Arrogant: You think you have enough capital because your revenues are going to increase and investors will be excited at the opportunity to invest when you start fundraising in a few months. Besides, you have plenty of money in the bank.

Confident: You know you have enough capital because you understand your cash flow model and have worked out the worst case scenario. Based on your current model, even if things don’t go according to plan, you will have 9 to 12 months of runway left when you start fundraising again.

5. Do you think or know you are not burning out?

Arrogant: You think you are fine because you are not afraid of hard work, eagerly working 20 hour days and weekends for 2 years. You feel so close to breaking through that if you push just a little harder for a little longer, you will get there. You don’t think your team performs as well when you are not around, so you work even harder.

Confident: You know you are fine because you have a support network that helps you understand how you are performing and you ask them regularly. You take regular breaks to decompress and gain perspective, while trusting your team to work in your absence.

So, how did you score? Over the years, I’ve both passed and failed this test many times.

It is easy to lose yourself in the day to day chaos of building your business and in doing so cross the line. It is easier to believe you will win because you are better than to make sure you are executing well enough to win based on your merits. Self-evaluation is a critical skill to develop to make sure you maintain healthy perspective.

Stay confident.

The 5 Minute Guide to Advisory Boards

“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein

It is impossible to know everything that you will need to know to build a successful business before you start. While you should have some industry expertise, some experience building products and a decent understanding of start up fundraising there will be many twists and turns along the way that no one can predict. If you were to spend the time to become an expert in everything you might need, it would take dozens of years and you would never get started.

So, by definition, when you are starting a company you are in over your head. That is both thrilling and scary at the same time. Good luck!

One of the many ways you can increase your chances of success is to assemble a team of advisors for your new company. Advisors can fill in some of the gaps you have in your own knowledge and experience and provide outside perspective on important decisions. When done well, advisory boards can provide an invaluable resource for your company. However, done poorly they can provide a distraction when you can least afford one.

Step 1. Picking Good Advisors

When you are considering who might be a good advisor, here are some good criteria. They should:

  • Have expertise in at least one area that is at the core of your business.
  • Have a strong network to connect you to others when necessary.
  • Provide advice and insight that is thoughtful and specific to your situation.
  • Be someone who you like and respect.

If someone doesn’t meet these criteria they can still be an informal advisor, but it likely does not make sense to make them a formal advisor. Formal advisors have a formal relationship with the company because they can materially help the company succeed and you compensate them in some way for that. Informal advisors have a friendly relationship with you and can be helpful just like any of your friends. The difference is subtle, but in general formal advisors commit more time and effort on behalf of your company. Whether you need formal advisors for your company is completely up to you, but most successful companies have at least a few formal advisors.

The good news is that almost everyone loves to be an advisor for start up companies. As an advisor you get to learn a new business, meet some passionate people and help work on new problems while not needing to invest a lot of time. It is rare that anyone, no matter how successful or distinguished, would turn down an advisory opportunity if they like you, find your business interesting and have the time available. So, be aggressive in recruiting advisors and don’t be embarrassed to reach out to someone you do not know.

Step 2. Setting Up and Advisory Board

Once/if you’ve identified some potential formal advisors you should give some thought to the overall advisory board. The name “advisory board” is somewhat of a misnomer as, unlike your board of directors, your collection of advisors is unlikely to ever meet together at the same time. Some key points when assembling your advisory board:

  • It should have at least 2 but not more than 4 members. You want at least 2 perspectives on important decisions but managing more than 4 advisors is too time consuming to be useful.
  • Expertise among the advisors should be well distributed. You want to cover as many areas as possible so you want a diversity of advisors since you don’t know what questions you might face. Having two advisors with exactly the same expertise would be a waste since they should, in theory, tell you the same thing.
  • Advisors should be compensated with between 0.1% and 0.5% equity (depending on stage and value they add). If an advisor isn’t worth that much you shouldn’t make them a formal advisor to the company. Equity should vest monthly over at least two years.
  • You should set expectations on how often you need their help and how much of their time you require. Establish this up front so there are no surprises on either side later. You should talk to advisors at least every quarter but likely not more than once a week (the more time you want the higher the equity would be as well).

The reason that you will rarely, if ever, have a meeting of all the advisory board members is that typically their experience is so varied as to make such a meeting unproductive. The best way to make use of advisors is to have them engage with specific problems and issues you and your team are facing that are within their area of expertise, as if they are an extension of your team. Treating advisors like members of the team usually creates the most productive chemistry.

Advisors should all sign advisory agreements that are a combination of the advisor contract and NDA. Your law firm should have a standard advisory agreement that you can use.

Step 3. Using Your Advisory Board

Now that you have an advisory board in place, it’s time to make use of them! It is easy to set up an advisory board and not utilize it effectively because of everything else going on around you, so it can help to make using the advisory board part of your process. A good use of your advisory board may look like the following:

  1. When a new advisor joins, have them present something from their area of expertise to your entire team. It is a great way to introduce them to the team and learn new things.
  2. Hold quarterly sessions with each advisor to either review the product roadmap, talk about your sales pipeline or brainstorm solutions to hard problems – depending on their area of expertise. Having this regular cadence will help build a habit of using the advisors.
  3. Encourage your team to connect with advisors directly over email with questions whenever they occur. Having a single point of contact for advisors will limit their usefulness and having them build relationships with your team will make it easier for them to help.
  4. Send regular updates to the advisors on progress your company has made. Since you are already sending regular updates to your investors and board members, you can just send a slightly watered down version to the advisors. The more they are up to date on your business, the more helpful they can become.

Remember that your advisors have their own day jobs and are likely very busy, so they don’t spend every waking minute thinking about your company like you do. You should be very specific in asking them for things and giving them clear ways to contribute to your success since it might not be clear otherwise. By their nature advisors want to be helpful so tell them explicitly how to be helpful.

Conclusions

Learning lessons the hard way can cost you time and money, adding additional risk to your already risky new venture. Advisors can help you avoid some of those pitfalls since they have already learned those lessons. It is also helpful to have someone on your team who can critique your pitch, challenge your assumptions or validate your decisions.

Since you are in over your head in starting a company, you need to give yourself every advantage. Having an advisory board is like having backup, they won’t make you successful but they can help when you need it.

Fighting Amongst Yourselves Is a Great Way to Die

In the early days of developing an idea, it is critical that you challenge every assumption behind that idea. That kind of questioning will either make the idea stronger and more crisp, or it will tear down its facade and reveal that there was nothing behind it.

It is tempting, when first assembling your team, to surround yourself with people that are just like you. These people share your interests, your sense of humor and your passions so it makes it easy to get along and agree on ideas. An environment where your team is universally similar in these ways is known as a monoculture and it poses a serious danger: If everyone agrees with you, who will question your ideas?

At the same time, you cannot afford to waste the limited time and effort you have with endless arguments about ideas and strategy. After questioning your idea and evaluating it objectively, your team needs to be able to make a decision and move on. I call this the difference between debating and arguing. You want to debate and not argue, and here is how you can tell the difference.

Debating (Good)

  • People come prepared to a discussion on the issue with background and well thought out explanations for their opinion.
  • There is a decision making framework that is used to evaluate all options.
  • People leave the discussion(s) having either changed their minds or compromised on a clear solution.
  • There are consistent retrospectives to evaluate decisions and whether they were correct.

Arguing (Bad)

  • You discuss the same issue at least 3 times with no clear progress.
  • You leave discussions about the issue with no clear agreement and everyone still married to the ideas that they had when they entered.
  • Side discussions start to erupt among factions with different points of view that don’t include people with differing opinions.
  • There is no objective framework for making a decision, or to evaluate if the decision was correct. Instead, decisions are constantly revisited with the same reasoning again and again.

Using these definitions, debating allows you to move quickly to handle issues with a reliable process. Arguing drains energy away from your goals by having everyone focus on the argument instead of on the strategy.

In many companies, the CEO prevents the team from falling into the trap of arguing by making decisions themselves by executive decree. Sometimes that is necessary and there is a reason that CEOs exist. However, if you find yourself having to use the CEO stick often you will prevent your team from developing decision making skills and stunt the maturity of your organization. Empowering your team to debate issues and then decide will scale with your company as you grow.

Monitoring whether your team is debating or arguing is an important way to gauge how well your team is working. If you spend a lot of time arguing, it’s time to make a change.