Building a new team

First meeting of the embryonic “New Team CB” today.
We borrowed the board room of an accountancy practice and I arrived with my car loaded – boxes of workbooks for this week’s workshops, ring binders inherited from Barbara containing historical financial records, old cheque book stubs, badges and CD’s again for the workshops. I resembled Jed Clampett arriving in Beverley Hills (for those who can remember that far back).
I began the meeting by announcing my expectations:

  • that we would live in a world of relative chaos for the next 3 months – 12 weeks in which my support team would be figuring out which questions to ask;
  • that in the second 3 months, the team would begin to understand which were the right questions and what the answers are;
  • that by 8th November 2006 (6 months hence) I expect the business to be humming along just like my V8;
  • that in the meantime we would inevitably step on each others toes like trainee ballroom dancers;
  • that I did not want the business to be driven by the “fear of making mistakes” or the “fear of upsetting CB” – that stifles initiative;
  • that if a system could be improved – don’t ask for permission – just go ahead and improve it.

With those ground rules in place – I then spent a good 5 hours emptying my “to do” list in their direction. After all, for an investment that is likely to exceed £100,000 in the next 12 months, I don’t expect to have to do anything other than invest:

  • 80% of my time focus on my unique abilities (speaking, writing and coaching) and
  • 20% of my time leading my management team.

I do not want to do any more management. It is not the best use of my time.
By 3.00pm, everyone else had everything else – and I was free to drive towards the first of 4 consecutive workshops this week.
The voyage of the new Team CB begins.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.