I’m a massive NBA fan, counting down the days until October 24th, when the season tips off. The other day, I was discussing the NBA with a fellow fanatic when he asked – “Who are your top five NBA players of all time?” I think of this question from each position on the court.
Kendall’s Top Five:
- Point Guard – Earvin “Magic” Johnson
- Shooting Guard – Michael Jordan (duh)
- Small Forward – Larry Bird (sorry, LeBron, I grew up in the 80s and early 90s)
- Power Forward – Tim Duncan aka The Big Fundamental
- Center – Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwan
This fun question made me think how useful a top five can be to build a professional team of people to support you in your personal life. Entrepreneurs can be their worst enemies in achieving goals that don’t involve creating and growing great companies. Just ask the shoe cobblers, kids.
If you’re a high-level entrepreneur, you effortlessly develop great ideas, collect them, and aim to utilize them in your life and business. These attributes are a big reason you can effortlessly create and grow companies, but it is not always helpful when organizing your life, retaining your wealth, and planning for the future.
The story of Apple and Steve Jobs comes to mind. Apple’s success is about integration and products working together seamlessly. The key to their incredible growth is the seamless integration of Apple products like the iPhone with iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto, and the MacBook Pro.
Jobs also was a big believer in the team. He said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” Like Apple, you want to ensure your team is aligned and working well together in your business and personal life. Building teams of A players who work together cohesively is how you create something great.
When it comes to filling your top five outside team of advisors, you are going to need these five professionals:
- Tax Accountant
- Estate Attorney
- Insurance Expert
- Private Banker
- Wealth Manager
It helps if you also found your quarterback within this team– similar to a Point Guard– you need someone leading your team of professional advisers. In my experience, the wealth manager is usually best suited to fill this Point Guard role.
The point person should be great in three areas:
- Proactive mindset
- Collaborative with the team
Your point person should be able to help identify the other team members if you don’t already have great people in those spots. Don’t settle for anything less than A players at each position.
When it comes to determining whether you’re working with A players in your personal lives, Legendary GE CEO Jack Welch characterized A players this way:
- filled with passion,
- committed to “making things happen,”
- open to ideas from anywhere,
- and blessed with lots of “runway” ahead of them,
- have charisma, the ability to energize themselves and others,
- can make business productive and enjoyable at the same time.
- Energize others around common goals
- the “Edge” to make difficult decisions,
- the ability to consistently Execute or deliver on their promises
The wise entrepreneur understands that building and maintaining wealth are entirely different things. You build wealth through concentration and preserve it through diversification and risk management. Both things are much easier to accomplish when you have the right team around you.
So here’s your call to action – assess whether you have the team around you to get you where you want to go in the future. If not, now is the time to get your top five because you’ll need the right people around you to get to where you desire to be in the future.
Proverbs 11:14 says, “…But in the abundance of [wise and godly] counselors, there is victory.” If you’re honest with yourself, having a great team around you at work has likely been critical to your business success. Why wouldn’t you use this same winning formula in your personal life?
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