You have a great product or service. You have the funds to make it happen. Now, the big question is "Do you have the people to stand by you and execute?"

The biggest question for entrepreneurs today is how to create a culture to keep your dream growing to its full potential. The answer is by creating a place for people to continue to develop both professionally and personally.

Dividing professional and personal development is an oxymoron.

One feeds the other. And the more you have an environment of mutual respect and open communication, the more people want to hang around with you and make magic at work. The hardest part of work is the people piece. It needs on-going attention to sustain high productivity and manage low stress.

Here are 11 questions to ask yourself and your team to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

  1. Do you have mutually agreed upon aims and goals?
  2. Are the roles and responsibilities balanced and complement each other?
  3. Do you have meetings that are both structured and flexible enough for open discussion?
  4. Is there clear and positive leadership in place?
  5. Do people feel free enough to communicate and collaborate?
  6. Is information technology up to date?
  7. Is there a mechanism in place to handle conflict?
  8. Is there a good decision-making process in place?
  9. Is there an agreed upon way to use social media for branding?
  10. Are there methods in place for individual learning and development?
  11. Is there a mechanism for reliable feedback more than once a year?

How you and your team answer the above questions, determines what you need to discuss and engage in a more productive way. It is about looking at what is really going on and not pushing defects under the rug, pretending that all is good or moaning about all that is bad.

It is about telling yourself the truth without spilling your guts.

The excitement of creating something new, of being an entrepreneur, is in digging for the gold and then polishing and polishing.

In the current time, there is lots of focus on strength based training. The idea is to focus on what people do well and quit worrying about weaknesses. However, anyone who plays tennis knows that if your backhand is weak you can lose, even if all other aspects of your game are near perfection.

In today's environment the idea is to strengthen the person and the entire team. It means looking at what is not working, as well as what is working. The desire is for finding the balance point between what is easy and where the strength is, and what is more difficult and requires some extra digging.

Make sure you ask yourself and your team to rate the above questions. Use the 1 (not in place yet) to 5 (we nailed it) as an indicator of what needs more attention. If you use this check list at least once a month to keep on track you will have a great road-map for where you want to go. And better yet, it will guarantee you will get there.