4 Essential Role Players You Want On Your Team

business team

Do you have a mentor, accountability partner, confidant and evangelist on your business team?

“Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.” ~ Margaret Mead

We can not afford to have a lone wolf, go it alone, isolationist mentality in our life or business. That is not a survivalist formula. We live in a hyper connected, engagement, interactivity, real time world. The World Wide Web, social media and smartphones have connected us all far and wide, 24/7.

Having an extended support system of key people that we can seek out and rely on to help us through moments and cycles of fast paced change is a valuable asset to have.

I think back to several turning points in my life and can clearly remember how important my support system was and is.  The 4 years my mother took ill and then passed, the months leading up to leaving a 20+ year career in Broadcast radio sales, launching my current endeavor, challenging economic times and 2012 which was a turning point year for me.

My support system guided me through all of  those moments, times and cycles helping me to find the humor, wisdom and grace in the challenge and the solution.

I have always welcomed and sought out great people as mirrors, sounding boards and sources of feedback from my family, friends and colleagues. We are built as social creatures and need to have community and connections to survive. The importance, value and benefits of a support system and role players in life and business are well documented in history.

Below are 4 essential role players to have on your business team that can make a huge difference in your sanity and the outcome of things.

4 Essential Players You Want On Your Business Team


Having people who educate, inspire and pass on what they know and have learned is an old tradition.

“Seek out mentors who offer you career guidance, advice and assistance from a real world point-of-view”, says Chrissy Scivicque in “How To Start a Mentorship Relationship.” She suggests choosing someone you respect, is willing and available and that you like personally.

The key is defining the relationship from the beginning and making it an open dialogue.

Accountability Partners or Group

Accountability is our ability and willingness to give an honest account to someone else of our actions and motives. Who do you trust to keep you on track, honest, true to your word and that you allow to call you out when you don’t fulfill your promises?

This can be uncomfortable but very beneficial.


We all need those inner circles of trusted people we can have honest conversations with about what’s really going on, that we may not have with anyone else, including family.

Airing out fears, reservations, dilemma’s and self confidence issues can be empowering. Confidants can be found through friends and family, self help groups, counselors or meeting new people through shared activities.


Welcoming people who are your ambassadors, cheerleaders and evangelists is such an esteem builder. These are people who truly believe in us and like us with no agenda, who are simply our fans. Here are some things that an ambassador or evangelist does for us in business.

Not only welcome them but let them consistently support and cheer you through and on.

Build a championship team of people who can help you grow, accepts you exactly the way you are and has your best interest at heart. These role players are the true secrets to success and happiness. It begins with “me” and continues with “we.”

Who are the key role players on your business team that are on your side and make a difference?


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane has been recognized as a Top 100 Small Business Champion and Top 50 SMB Influencer (Dunn and Bradstreet 2015). She is a career transition author, personal branding and social media specialist. Deborah's book "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

13 Reactions
  1. Deborah,

    This is a very useful article. I can now confirm that I am surrounded by too many naysayer!

    In my line of business, it’s rather difficult to find the right people to surround you with (I’m in online business). What’s more, it’s often very lonely, you know…

    I need to seek more confidants and mentors in keeping myself check, grounded and motivated.

    • Ivan, always good to “prune” the naysayers. Too much toxic energy. Get out more in your local business community and meet people in person. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I would say that the accountability partner has been the most humbling but the most important for my growth. Sometimes we need to go deep and get real. How about you?

  3. Karen Kaffenberger

    Thanks for the timely article! Do you have a mixture of online people and people you meet face-to-face for your support system? In your experience, is there a good way of determining what mix (if any) would be good for one’s business? I’m a copywriter and have both local & national clients, so I’m wondering if it would be better for me to have a mix for my support system.

    • Yes Karen. Having a blend of people we mutually follow and engage with both in person where we live and online where we share things in common helps us build that reach. Are you on LinkedIn? If so make sure you are following people locally, as well as some groups that focus on media, advertising, content. Thanks for your comment.

      • Karen Kaffenberger

        Yes, I am on LinkedIn and belong to local and national groups, etc. I’ll try to engage a bit more. Thanks for the advice–I appreciate it!

  4. That is a very good idea. Engaging with your connections can only lead to good things. Connect with me on LinkedIn so we can continue.

  5. Why fear the lone wolf. Many of great men and even many of great women have started businesses on their own. Some people need that support system and some don’t.

    “We can not afford to have a lone wolf, go it alone, isolationist mentality in our life or business.” Taken from the “SmartBrief on small business.

    Was that quote meant to be a joke. Does someone going it on their own threaten your sense of achievement? I have spoken with mentors and have yet to find one who actually gives a C***. Most of them want to sell you something, not to help to see the community grow and prosper through helping others but so they prosper. And please don’t take my response as anger as there is no anger here, maybe disappointment and a little frustration, but surely no anger because I didn’t expect anything.

    With or without help and guidance I will make it even if it is as a lone wolf. I won’t be the first and I won’t be the last to do it on their own.

    • Gregg, always welcome comments and ideas and an open exchange. No fear here. I don’t believe in the business world today, that any of us can succeed at the level and capacity we desire with a lone wolf mentality. We are built to be autonomous and stand on our own but with the support of networks of others who are resources and mentors. If you are making it that way by yourself, think about the possibilities of how much more you could make it by building more community with others? Keep searching for the right mentors, they are out there. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Thanks for posting this on your site.

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