Every leader needs to build a farm team.
If you follow pro sports you already know what I’m talking about. A farm team is the minor league talent pool from which a pro team draws its future players. When the pro team’s ranks are diminished by injury or retirement, the general manager dips into the pool of talent being groomed “down on the farm” and a seamless transition takes place.
This principle is equally true in your organization and mine.
You will, over the course of time, lose key members of your team. The question is, will that launch you into an agonizing season of recruitment, during which you will have gaping holes in your organization, or will you simply dip into your talent pool and fill the gap with relative ease?
Building Your Team
In great leaders I’ve known, I’ve learned that they master three critical skills:
- Digging a well before you’re thirsty
Don’t wait until you’ve lost a team member before you start recruiting talent. Always be on the lookout for potential team members.
- Investing time in strategic relationships
Be intentional about getting to know sharp, talented people whom you believe would be a good “fit” on your team.
- Checking in regularly
From time to time connect with these people and find out what, if anything, God is “whispering” to them these days. Sometimes it can point to an upcoming availability.
Bill Hybels has pointed out that God is always in the business of building and re-building teams. In other words, it’s not a question of “if” a key member of your team will leave, but “when”.
But if we learn from the pro sports concept of developing a farm team, the re-building process can be much smoother, faster, and productive.
What’s your strategy for re-building your team?