Every great NBA basketball team has a ”glue guy”. The Pistons have Ben Wallace. The T’wolves have Fred “The Mayor” Hoiberg. The Showtime Lakers had Kurt Rambis. The glue guy is usually not the most talented player on the court, but he brings value to the team because he holds the team together with his hustle, passion, toughness, selfnessness, and – above all — endless energy.
A few weeks ago when I was at my favorite burrito joint, I noticed the effects of a manager who is obviously his team’s glue guy.
The guy never sat still. He was a pure hustler. In the time that it took me to place and receive my order, he had wiped up at least a football field’s worth of countertop space, greeted and thanked every customer who placed an order, helped fill every order, mopped the floor and took a couple phone calls. It was unreal.
The coolest thing about it was the effect that this manager had on his team. Every burrito in the place was folded and stuffed by hands moving faster than a Las Vegas card dealer’s; and every employee did it with a look on their face that made me believe that they LOVED doing it. These people had obviously been infected by a glue guy, and had thus become glue guys themselves.
Start-ups need glue guys. You know the type — they come into the office ridiculously happy every day, sincerely ask how everyone is doing, and spend most of their time trying to make everyone’s job easier.
Glue guys can make their impact from anywhere on the organizational chart. Our glue gal at FundingUniverse.com is a part-timer named Sophie Barth who comes in for two hours a day. She immediately infuses the office with a boost of energy that leaves everyone energized after she leaves. Nice work Sophie!
Bottom line: Entrepreneurs, go find yourself a glue guy or gal. When you’re up to your neck in debt, on the verge of making your first big sale, or trying to forget all of the times your friends/mom/husband/wife has told you to get a real job, you’ll be greatful that you have a little extra energy — thanks to your glue guy.