Call us at 970.744.3340|Login
Feb 21
Helicopter flying over Mountain

Building Your Dream Team: Who’s On Your Support Squad?

I’ve consistently sought to lead an adventurous life, having been fortunate to travel to numerous destinations, reside in various countries, and engage in experiences that entail a certain level of personal risk. 

Living a life of adventure

Living an adventurous life has not only shaped my character but also highlighted the importance of having a strong support system. Assembling a dream team to navigate both the exhilarating and challenging moments has proven to be essential.

  • Scuba diving with hammerhead sharks – Check
  • Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane – Check
  • Wreck diving in cold dark waters off of New Jersey and Melbourne Australia – Check
  • Skiing from a helicopter in the southern alps of New Zealand – Check
  • Surfing overhead waves that throw you around like you are a feather – Check
  • Cave diving in the cenotes in Mexico – Check
  • Climbing 14ers in Colorado – Check
  • Traveling the world – Check

Engaging in these activities always involves assessing risks, devising plans to mitigate potential negative outcomes, and collaborating with others to establish safety protocols.

What is a support squad, and why do you need one?

I’ve always found it intriguing that the safety protocols for these activities share striking similarities. It involves a combination of planning, understanding your equipment, verifying your own setup, implementing a buddy system for redundancy, cross-checking with your buddy, having a contingency plan for unforeseen challenges, and knowing the escalation process for seeking assistance if necessary.

A support squad is the cornerstone of success, a collective force that helps you navigate life. It’s a support system that contributes unique skills, perspectives, and unwavering support, forming a cohesive unit dedicated to mutual growth and achievement. This squad serves as a bedrock, providing encouragement during tough times and offering diverse insights to sort out the inevitable complexities of life and career.

The squad is more than just a safety net, it’s also the group of people that give you the confidence to push yourself beyond complacency. The genuine self-assurance gained from a supportive squad and established practices is what empowers you to embrace the risk, giving you the courage to go faster, adopt a more aggressive approach, or fully immerse yourself in the experience by overcoming your fears.

My Own Support Squad

Reflecting on my own life, I’ve been privileged to cultivate a support squad that encompasses mentors, friends, my family, and colleagues. These people have been instrumental in shaping my path, offering guidance during difficult moments, and celebrating alongside me during big wins. 

In challenging times, having a trusted circle to help brainstorm solutions without being too close to the problem is essential. I consistently turn to a group of individuals when I’m uncertain and need feedback. These people excel at the highest levels of business, advertising, and technology, offering fresh and diverse perspectives. Without exception, they provide direct and honest feedback that I value, even if it isn’t always what I want to hear.

Support is a Two-Way Street

In all areas of life, it’s not always about what you get, but oftentimes, it’s more importantly about what you give. I place a strong emphasis on mentoring, both in formal and informal capacities. My college experience at the University of Colorado was enriched by encountering an influential mentor, Jeff Fromm. 

Jeff, the father of one of my skiing buddies, Dave and Aaron. Jeff held a high-ranking position at Hewlett Packard when our paths first crossed. Over the course of several years skiing together, I developed a close bond with their entire family, engaging in numerous insightful conversations.

Consequently, I found myself perceiving the world through a new and previously unfamiliar lens. Jeff played a pivotal role in guiding me towards a path of excellence and focus, which has proven to be immensely impactful in my career. It wasn’t a singular event but rather witnessing someone with more extensive life experiences than I had at that point.

He deepened my understanding of how people’s motivations influence their behavior, and he taught me how to leverage this insight to empower teams. By investing time in understanding each team member’s individual desires from their experiences, he imparted valuable lessons on effective leadership.

I strongly believe in the concept of paying it forward, and find great fulfillment in mentoring early-career Choozle employees and colleagues, contributing to a workplace culture where people can thrive. 

Why Not Pay it Forward?

Consider offering your expertise and insights to mentor someone, whether they are early in their career or seeking guidance in your field of expertise. By becoming a mentor, you contribute to the growth and development of others while simultaneously enriching your own perspective and leadership skills. Embrace opportunities within your workplace or explore external mentorship programs to make a positive impact on someone else’s journey. Remember, mentorship is a reciprocal relationship, and by giving back, you play a crucial role in cultivating a supportive and thriving community within your professional network.

Embracing Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is more crucial than ever, according to a recent article from McKinsey & Company 40-60% of an employee’s human-capital value (knowledge, attributes, skills, and experience) is attributed to skills acquired through workplace learning and development. Our company facilitates this by providing complimentary access to career-related LinkedIn Learning® paths along with the entire learning catalog. Additionally, there’s full reimbursement eligibility for approved education specific to each role.

The leadership team at Choozle has designed a program that allows employees across the company to see what growth looks like for every role – not just their current position. This cross-functional collaboration not only illuminates career opportunities for employees but also strengthens relationships throughout the organization.

Why is this so important? The Association for Talent Development (ATD) recently completed a survey where less than one-third of respondents, only about 31% of employees felt their organizations provide the requisite support for learning new skills and expanding their professional capabilities and goals.

Recognizing and Appreciating Your Squad

Recognizing and celebrating milestones and contributions is crucial for fostering a positive and motivated team environment. Recently, at our Revenue Kick-Off meeting and company celebration, we had the opportunity to applaud the exceptional achievements of our team members. The event served as a platform to showcase outstanding performances, with awards highlighting the dedication, innovation, and hard work that forms our collective success as a company. As we reflect on these moments, we’re reminded of what success looks like and how every milestone is driven by our people. 

Team Building within Your Company

Employees are the driving force behind your organization, keeping it running smoothly and efficiently. The first step in cultivating a great team is strategic hiring, prioritizing individuals who align with your company’s values and culture. Beyond skills and qualifications, the emphasis on cultural fit ensures a harmonious integration of diverse talents, fostering an environment where everyone shares a common purpose and commitment. By assembling a team that resonates with the core values, you lay the foundation for a cohesive and resilient unit that propels the organization toward its collective goals.

It might seem extreme, but when considering these individuals, would you trust their judgment and skills in a life-and-death situation? If you were climbing with them, could they prevent your fall in time? In the event of an avalanche, do they possess sufficient knowledge of their beacon to locate you swiftly? While diving, if your regulator malfunctioned, would they be close enough for you to swim to them and access their spare air?

In the business world, it’s never a matter of life and death, but can you confidently entrust your livelihood to the people you’ve gathered on your team?

Fostering a Collaborative Work Environment: Cultivating Synergy

Creating a collaborative work environment is instrumental in reaching the full potential of your team. Encourage open communication, idea-sharing, and cross-functional collaboration to break down silos and promote a sense of unity. Whether through team-building activities, regular brainstorming sessions, or utilizing collaborative tools, prioritize initiatives that nurture a culture of teamwork. 

A collaborative work environment not only enhances creativity and problem-solving but also strengthens the bonds among team members. In cultivating an atmosphere where every voice is valued and contributions are recognized, you amplify the collective heartbeat of your business, ensuring sustained success.

Tips for Assembling Your Squad

Assembling your support squad is a significant step toward achieving your dreams. Whether in personal or professional realms, having the right people by your side can make all the difference. 

  • Family and Friends – Your Core Team: In your personal life, family and friends form your core team. These relationships offer unwavering encouragement, providing a safe haven during both highs and lows. Identify those whose presence uplifts you, creating a strong foundation for your journey.
  • Professional Connections: In addition to personal connections, building a solid support squad involves leveraging your professional network. These connections play a vital role in shaping your journey and contributing to your success. It can be as simple as reaching out to someone who is doing the job you’d like to do in the future. Or perhaps there’s someone who has a skill you’d like to further develop such as outstanding writing or speaking skills. You can ask them to help you develop in this area.
  • Historical and Well-Known Figures: Drawing inspiration from historical or famous figures adds a unique dimension to identifying champions. Studying the lives and accomplishments of iconic individuals can offer insights, motivation, and perspectives that resonate with one’s own journey, serving as a source of inspiration and aspiration.

The Power of Networking

Networking is a strategic tool that extends beyond professional circles. It involves connecting with individuals who can contribute positively to your journey. Here’s how you can leverage the power of networking:


Networking Events:

  • Attend industry-related events to build connections in your professional sphere.
  • Actively engage in conversations, exchange ideas, and establish meaningful relationships.

Online Communities:

  • Use social media platforms and forums to expand your network.
  • Join groups relevant to your interests or professional goals.
  • Participate in discussions, share insights, and connect with like-minded individuals.

Remember, networking is about fostering authentic connections that align with your values and aspirations. By strategically navigating your professional and personal networks, you can enhance the diversity and strength of your support squad, ensuring a dynamic approach to navigating life’s journey.

Preparing Your Mindset

Before reaching out to family, friends, or engaging in professional networking, it’s essential to ensure you approach building your team with an open and receptive mindset. Here are some key tips:

Be Open to Receiving Support:

  • Acknowledge that success isn’t a solo journey.
  • Open yourself to the love and assistance people want to offer.
  • Allow support to flow in by being receptive to those cheering you on.

Clarify who in your life energizes you:

  • Cultivate a support group with those who inspire and encourage you.
  • Avoid associations with individuals questioning your aspirations.

Understand that asking for help is a strength:

  • Be receptive to support from those genuinely invested in your success.
  • Surround yourself with individuals who see your potential and highlight life’s greatness.

Choose Wisely:

  • Determine the core individuals crucial to lifting you toward your dreams.
  • Cultivate strong connections with those positively impacting your journey.
  • Recognize the value of time and carefully select your support squad.

By tapping into personal and professional networks and figuring out who inspires and energizes you, you’ll create a dynamic support system that helps you succeed. And just as it’s important to carefully select the right time, you’ll want to ensure your putting consistent effort into nurturing your squad. This means ensuring you have regular touch points with your team and that you’re also taking the time to appreciate them and acknowledge their contributions to your career and life. 

Technology as a Support Squad Member

In the ever-evolving landscape of personal and professional growth, technology stands as an indispensable member of your support squad. As a technology professional myself, and someone who has coded and lived in that world, I know firsthand how crucial it is to harness the power of technology to work smarter and go faster. Because of this, I’d argue that in today’s world, it’s essential to consider technology as an important member of your team. There are now a nearly unlimited number of tools and software designed to streamline operations, boost productivity, and enhance overall efficiency. 

Navigating these solutions and selecting the right ones to enhance your work and daily life has become crucial to becoming more efficient and getting time back. Why not empower yourself to face challenges head-on and achieve your goals with greater ease. From enhancing your health with improved sleep, exercise, and nutrition to streamlining and automating your work, there’s an app for every need.

Personally, while I have some misgivings about the broader impact of ChatGPT as an AI technology, I find that Microsoft’s Copilot has become an indispensable part of my daily work routine. I rely on it to outline content, conduct research, and sometimes create images.

Building Your Technology Stack

Building your technology stack is like assembling a comprehensive toolkit tailored to fortify and streamline your entire business operation. Navigating the diverse landscape of technology solutions requires a strategic approach, starting with a deep understanding of your business needs, objectives, and target audience. Your technology stack should be a well-integrated ecosystem, where each component synergizes to enhance efficiency and drive innovation. 

Begin by selecting the right foundational elements, such as cloud computing services, to provide a scalable and flexible infrastructure. Integrate collaboration tools to facilitate seamless communication and teamwork across your organization. Implement customer relationship management (CRM) systems for centralized data management, ensuring a cohesive view of your interactions with clients and customers. Embrace cutting-edge technologies like AI and machine learning to automate processes, enhance decision-making, and stay ahead of the curve. Regularly assess and optimize your technology stack to align with shifting business requirements and technological advancements. The goal is to create a cohesive and adaptable technology stack that acts as a strategic enabler, propelling your entire business toward sustained growth and success.

The Importance of Services To Support Your Technology

Amidst the strategic assembly of a robust tech stack, the significance of services to maximize your technology investments cannot be overstated. We’ve all encountered the futility (and frustration) of purchasing software, a subscription, or a membership, only to never fully utilize it—or, worse, never use it at all.

Services act as a guaranteed guide to ensure you use what you own and enjoy the complete benefits of your investment. From expert consultations guiding you to maximum efficiency, specialized services act as the linchpin that transforms tools into solutions that generate results. Additionally, ongoing support services provide a safety net, offering troubleshooting assistance, updates, and continuous improvements to address any emerging challenges or changing business needs.

Recognizing the critical role of services to enhance results, at Choozle we’ve introduced managed services to enhance our omnichannel advertising platform. Tailored to navigate the complex world of paid media, our managed services guide clients in selecting the best media buys. Our platform is underpinned by detailed consumer data that fuels strategic planning and precision media buying, allowing brands to connect with their target audience across diverse media and channels. By leveraging Choozle’s managed services, advertisers can not only save time and money but also break through the noise of the saturated information landscape, delivering meaningful and impactful advertising outcomes.

The Bottom Line

Building your dream team is a continuous adventure, much like the diverse experiences shared earlier. Whether it’s conquering personal challenges or achieving professional milestones, the power of a well-crafted support system is undeniable.

Remember, your squad extends beyond the immediate circle of family and friends; it includes mentors, colleagues, and even the technological tools at your disposal. Why go it alone? By nurturing these connections, you not only fortify your own journey but also contribute to the growth and success of others.

As you embark on the ongoing quest of assembling, appreciating, and evolving your support squad, keep in mind that it’s a dynamic process. Regular touchpoints, genuine appreciation, and consistent effort in nurturing your team will ensure its resilience and effectiveness.

In the grand tapestry of life and career, your support squad is the vibrant thread that weaves moments of triumph and resilience. Embrace the diversity of perspectives, relish the shared victories, and be open to the continuous learning that your squad brings to your journey.

So, whether you’re scuba diving with hammerhead sharks or navigating the intricate landscape of professional growth, your support squad will be there, propelling you forward. Cheers to building and sustaining the dream team that not only supports your aspirations but also adds depth and meaning to the tapestry of your life. Happy squad-building!

About the author:
Adam Woods is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and held two other roles at Choozle — Chief Client Officer and Chief Technology Officer. Throughout his tenure at Choozle, he has been improving the way that advertisers buy media through the Choozle platform. He has led initiatives to ensure that Choozle leads the space in terms of being a consultative partner that helps ensure the effective deployment of media through a combination of omni-channel planning, targeting best practices, upfront goal setting, and effective measurement.

About The Author