TEAM BUILDING

Why Your Work Buddies Should Be Your Best Friends

To win in the marketplace you need to work--and play together.
Advertisement

“Awesome hanging tonight, see you at work in the morning!”

That's something I pretty much never said when it came to spending time with my employees. I used to keep my work life and personal life separate (e.g., work-life balance). I never wanted my work team to know what I was doing or where I was going personally.

I started hiring people for my entrepreneurial ventures when I was 25 years old. I had no idea how to hire people properly or manage people and I had the same high expectations my strict Indian dad had with me. Which meant: I was always disappointed. And things never work out when disappointment is felt.

When Work And Home Are One

The more I thought about it and went from one disastrous situation to another, the more I realized my job should be no different than my experience when I played soccer at the highest level. The best team I ever played on was when I considered my teammates my best friends and we fought hard to support each other and win for each other.

Just because someone is SUPER talented and smart, doesn’t mean his/her personality will jive with the others and if personalities don’t match, all parties will stop wanting to work as hard to win.

I feel like I’ve hired so many wrong fits in the past that I didn’t like as people but who I thought were smart and capable. These bad experiences clouded my ability to realize that I CAN hire people that I like as people and not just as employees. I realized that there is a new and different way to work with a team that cares for each other as friends too and I can include my team in my personal life too.

I used to not look forward to going to work to seeing people I didn’t get along with and finally, after many years of figuring things out, I love everyone on all of my teams for all of my businesses (THINX, WILD, Super Sprowtz, and Do Cool Shit).

I am so much happier now going into work and seeing people I care about as humans too.

If you’re not feeling excited to see your employees or partners, then it’s time to make a change. Key learning: Hire slow, fire fast. Pick humans you LIKE. It’s the only way to look forward to going into work. 

IMAGE: Karl Weatherly/Getty
Last updated: May 28, 2014

MIKI AGRAWAL | Columnist | serial entrepreneur

Miki Agrawal is a serial social entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and television personality. She founded the farm-to-table alternative pizza concept called Wild in New York City and partnered with Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh to open the concept in Las Vegas. She was a recipient of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival's Disruptive Innovation Award. Agrawal is also a partner in Super Sprowtz, a children's media company. Her book, Do Cool Sh*t: Quit Your Day Job, Start Your Own Business, and Live Happily Ever After, came out in August 2013.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: