To succeed in today’s demanding business world, surround yourself with diverse individuals with more talent than you. Do not fall into the trap of thinking less talented individuals will make you look better simply by comparison. A strong team will reflect well on each of the individuals as well as the leader who pulled them together. Look for this talent throughout the organization. Be open to individuals from other departments or several layers down in your organization. The right individual with outstanding leadership skills can overcome any deficiency in experience on a particular subject—go for the leadership talent first, and then subject matter expertise.

In addition, continually build your pool of available talent. Actively participate in recruiting, mentor, and take an active interest in the human resource activities in your organization. If you see a need, volunteer your organization to be the test group for a new process, or procedure.

College recruiting can also be an excellent source of future talent. Internships are a valuable tool in identifying top graduating talent. If you see deficiencies in the education the graduates are receiving, work with a select number of universities to help define the future direction of their curricula. This will ensure not only that you and your organization will have access to the best and brightest our universities have to offer, but also that these students will have the tools necessary to succeed.

After building a strong team, make sure you truly understand the business. Don’t focus only on your area of responsibility. Recognize what is driving the business. Understand how your group supports the overall goals and objectives and identify ways to improve your contribution to the organization’s success.

A strong business-oriented team will ensure success for your organization as well as yourself in today’s demanding business climate.