• John Kador


Teamsmanship reflects the quality of the team behind the startup.

It’s an all-encompassing term that describes the quality of team identity and their relationship to one another.

Not all teams work out. Just because a group of people launched a startup does not mean they are the best team to execute. The right team led by the right leader can do the impossible and create truly breathtaking results.

The critical thing is that the people behind the startup have a shared team identity and responsibility.

I want teams I invest in to execute on its goals. I will tend to invest in a startup with a high level of teamsmanship even if the initial idea is half-baked. There are no conditions under which I would invest in a startup with low teammanship. Team-building mistakes create bad blood, bad times, and bad products. They pull a team dangerously away from its goals.

The Qualities of Teamsmanship

Many qualities go into teamsmanship, but it’s mostly about attitudes and shared values supplied in just the right balance. Teamsmanship requires that founders:

• Believe the same things together • Rationalize and appreciate the value of the startup in the same way. • Pull as one to meet the customer’s needs. • Recognizes its deficiencies and works hard to plug the gaps, adding new talent were necessary. Orchestrate their efforts instead of trying to outdo each other. • Support each other, laugh at each other’s jokes, finish each other’s sentences, and express gratitude whenever possible.

Group Cohesion

When I look at team, I focus on how well team members work together. Now, how do I do that? I’m not sitting with them as they solve the thousands of day-to-day problems that every startup faces. At presentations I usually see the CEO and perhaps one or two of the other team members. So that’s where I start.

Always be attentive to how you ask other team members for support and how well you accept the support when it’s offered. I’m very sensitive to such exchanges as well as tone of voice and non-verbal cues. That’s why I always ask to meet with the other team members as much as I can. When I see teamsmanship in action, my checkbook comes out.

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