How to Create Your Family Business Dream Team


In the last article we highlighted The Dream Team Model and why you need different blended profiles to grow a business, and how strong business genes can be passed on from generation to generation. In this article we will be going through all of the 9 Dream Team DNA Profile Descriptions in detail.

One of the keys to ensuring you have a balance of all profiles is to be able to easily recognize the traits, qualities, and skills that comprise a profile. In order to choose the right people to fill these roles, you must be familiar with and have a good understanding of each profile.

Before we get into the profiles, I want to say a little bit about individual strengths and weaknesses, how they are perceived, and how they often translate into the workplace. For some reason, people tend to focus more on weaknesses than they do on strengths. Simply think about your last couple of job reviews, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Or, if you’re the supervisor who gives reviews, think about how those conversations went. Chances are the strengths of the person in the hot seat were quickly glossed over. The remainder of the review was spent discussing that person’s weaknesses and what they could do to overcome them. Most performance reviews focus almost entirely on how a person needs to improve.

This approach doesn’t work in an organization’s favour. In asking a person to focus on their weaknesses, you are also asking them to spend less time on their strengths. Traits that people initially see as weaknesses are often balanced out by complementary strengths. For example, the person who shows an inability to pay attention or remain on task may have an increased ability to create, inspire, and set trends. Hopefully, you already have that person in a position where you rely on them to create and don’t have them in an area where, for example, they are expected to be detail oriented and analytical. If you ask them to start spending more brainpower on time management, you’ll likely see creativity diminish. If you’re focusing too much on an individual’s weaknesses, you have one of two problems: either you are losing sight of how that person can best contribute in his or her current position, or that person is in the entirely wrong position.

Part of initiating a successful Dream Team is recognition and acceptance of people’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Whether you dismiss the person in the above example in frustration as a useless dreamer or whether you are wowed by how he or she initiates, creates, and produces will be almost wholly dependent upon what kind of position this person holds, what his or her duties are, and what you encourage and allow that person to focus on.

With the right focus, this person will significantly contribute to your organization. With the wrong focus, things will fall apart. Human DNA is mysteriously ordered and paired so that the system works. Not so with business DNA. It’s up to you to order and pair. To that end, it’s important to recognize that weaknesses are strengths, and where a person is placed in the organization, and the duties that he or she is assigned, will have much to do with the strength of your business DNA.

  1. The Innovator

    In a competitive, constantly changing business environment, your organization’s success depends upon your ability to create new products and services, to introduce new uses or markets for current products and services, or to differentiate products and services. You can count on the innovator to keep ideas coming.

    Key DNA: Innovators have the ability and the desire to generate ideas and start something new. They yearn for a variety of work, bore easily, and have trouble with follow‐through. These quick thinkers do best in environments where they are given freedom to express their creativity.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Creator, Pioneer, Starter, Inspirer, Inventor, Producer, Originator, Groundbreaker, Stimulator, Brainstormer, Trendsetter, Instigator, Challenger, Adventurer, Discoverer, Dreamer, Voyager and Initiator.

  2. The Promoter

    Successful businesses know they don’t exist in a vacuum. They need the support of their target audience to exist. Enter the Promoter, who will make sure that the business is properly marketed, branded and publicized.

    Key DNA: The Promoter is an excellent communicator, and excels at expressing ideas in the public domain. He or she appreciates attention, and likes to find ways to showcase the organization and individual’s strengths to groups and large audiences. Because Promoters seek attention, they need the appreciation of others in order to best function, and thrive with lots of people around them. Promoters can be very emotional and disorganized.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Advertiser, Advocate, Presenter, Booster, Endorser, Publicist, Marketer, Actor, Broadcaster, Proposer, Spokesperson, Politician, Anchor, Ambassador, Emcee, Performer, Entertainer and Comedian.

  3. The Connector

    A business is only as good as its internal and external relationships, and the Connector makes sure they are strong.

    Key DNA: The Connector possesses the ability to build trust one‐on‐one, and will do whatever it takes to build sustainable relationships. Very loveable and likeable, Connectors are motivated more by human connection than by money. The Connector enjoys socializing and interaction, and understands the importance of making others feel important and special.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Networker, Informer, Companion, Supporter, Escort, Buddy, Carer, Assistant, Nurse, Babysitter, Journalist, Helper, Announcer, Host, Notifier, Preacher, Socializer, Reporter and Contributor.

  4. The Mentor

    As you can see from the chart on the previous page, this represents the heart, or core, of a business. Just like humans need a heart to survive, so do businesses.

    Key DNA: A mentor is able to take both logical and emotional content and deliver it to others. He or she goes the extra mile to nurture, support, and educate, and is equally at ease working one‐on‐one or with groups. A mentor enjoys working on a variety of projects and with different groups across the organization, and is a natural leader. One of the mentor’s greatest skills is the ability to identify with, and communicate with, a wide variety of groups.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Coach, Advisor, Teacher, Trainer, Counselor, Supervisor, Educator, Professor, Referee, Instructor, Barrister, Moderator, Disciplinarian, Expert, Authority, Facilitator, Chair, Tutor and Professional.

  5. The Operator

    Businesses have many moving parts, and it’s necessary to coordinate them in order to meet goals. The Operator ensures that parts move smoothly, and that objectives are executed.

    Key DNA: The Operator has the ability to take large groups of people and organize them to execute and complete objectives. Operators are superb delegators, and have a talent for ensuring that the right people focus on the right jobs at the right time. Operators are results‐driven and focus on getting the best out of human resources, but often require systems in which to operate.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Director, Executive, Supervisor, Delegator, Executor, Chairperson, Controller, Governor, Manager, Overlooker, President, Completer, Taskmaster, Captain, Chief, Commander, Investigator, Manager, Fixer and Dictator.

  6. The Negotiator

    Whether you’re looking for the best price for raw materials or trying to get the best results out of a project, the Negotiator will know what deals are to be had, and will ensure your organization gets the best one possible.

    Key DNA: The Negotiator has the ability to complete financial tasks, and loves to take on a challenging or difficult situation. He or she gets a thrill out of getting the best price or deal, and can squeeze a result out of a failing negotiation or project. The Negotiator likes to “win” through execution and completion, and prefers to handle challenges others can’t or won’t.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Closer, Trader, Arbitrator, Fixer, Lawyer, Hunter, Dealer, Broker, Dealmaker, Buyer, Seller, Tactition, Wholesaler, Retailer, Exporter, Importer, Purchaser, Asker, Prober, Questioner and Interrogator.

  7. The Banker

    The success of your business is dependent upon its financial health. The Banker will ensure that money is collected, bills are paid, and books are balanced.

    Key DNA: The Banker enjoys math, and has the ability to check financial data, including analyzing and reconciling money coming in and out. He or she keeps track of all financial matters, and takes time to compare past trends and financial information. The Banker tends to be conservative and likes to feel secure, but doesn’t like predicting the future or making long-‐ term decisions. Similar

    DNA Cluster: Analyzer, Counter, Financier, Payee, Receiver, Accountant, Treasurer, Teller, Collector, Paymaster, Creditor, Cashier, Inheritor, Refuser, Reconciliator, Calculator, Examiner, Scrutinizer and Conformer.

  8. The Investor

    A successful business takes the past, present, and future into account. The Investor will take charge of an organization’s long-‐term health.

    Key DNA: The Investor has the ability to see long‐term opportunity, and plays the role of protector and safeguard. He or she excels at gathering in-‐ formation to make income‐generating or high‐growth decisions for the long term. The Investor prefers to focus on low‐risk ideas, projects, and ventures, and likes to be sure. Because of this conservative nature, he or she can sometimes be indecisive.

    Similar DNA Family: Assessor, Researcher, Protector, Data‐Gatherer, Compiler, Grower, Stockholder, Shareholder, Lender, Loaner, Capitalist, Frugal, Landowner, Franchisor, Accumulator, Saver, Safeguard and Yielder.

  9. The Planner

    When ideas are developed and circulated by the Innovator, the Planner is needed to see them through to fruition. The Planner also compliments the Investor for projects as both have attention to detail.

    Key DNA: The Planner has the ability to take an idea, and build a foundation, infrastructure, system, process, or tools that allow others to execute the plan. Planners typically like to be involved in a variety of projects, and prefer hands‐on work. Planners are logical, analytical, and need technical visual information to function.

    Similar DNA Cluster: Engineer, Improver, Designer, Development, Craftsman, Architect, Builder, Administrator, Programmer, Author, Writer, Hacker, Assembler, Mechanic, Manufacturer, Coder, Artist and Technician. As you continue reading our articles, keep the DNA Model closely in mind. Do you have everyone you need on your Dream Team? Is every area somewhat evenly represented? Where are your organization’s strengths? It’s weaknesses? Are the right people with the right skills, aptitudes and personalities in the right jobs? The answers to these questions will determine the strength and longevity of your family business DNA.

To assess your current personal and business DNA with an in‐depth private intervention, email me directly via

Key Considerations:

  • Understand and be aware of your top three DNA profiles (natural strengths) and evaluate whether you are using them daily or not.
  • Understand and be aware of your bottom three DNA profiles (natural weaknesses) and evaluate whether you are using these daily or not and whom you should delegate these areas to, so you can focus on your strengths.
  • Understand where the gaps are in the model with your current organizational structure, family members and board of directors, who is missing? Who do you need? In order to build a Dream Team.

In my next article, we will go through family job roles in more detail and how they integrate with different types of family business models.

This is an extract from Reg Athwals book: Unleash Your Family Business DNA.

More information on Reg's toolkits and business solutions can be found at and

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