Jaee Patwardhan spoke at the Women 2.0 Conference about her experience building a team for Amazon Fire TV at Amazon Lab126. She shares her insight on how to build a winning team.
In keeping with the theme of “How To” at the Women 2.0 conference, I wanted to focus on how to build or be a part of a winning team.
Have a Great Vision
We live in a very competitive landscape – there is an immense need for tech talent everywhere. At the core of any great team is the vision for a product. If you are trying to build a team, it is important to remember that you need to bring forth the passion you have for the product and its vision. Prospective employees need to see your dedication and focus on making it happen.
Remember, the People Make the Brand
Everyone wants to be associated with a great brand, but a brand is not about a company name or a product. It’s all about the people who help make the product or drive the success of a company to where it is.
As an employer, you must ask if the prospective employee stands out in the making of a brand. Your brand also needs to provide differentiation. As an example, one of the ways Amazon differentiated Fire TV was by innovating with Voice search through the device’s remote.
Build An Environment That’s Conductive to Employee Productivity
However, just employing folks is not enough. You also need to build an environment that is conducive to employee productivity. Happy employees are the most productive! I am always told that as a manager you need to lead by example, but I want to add to that thought. As a manager, you must also learn from examples. I am humbled when I see how hard my group works. Whether it’s that one employee that comes in at 5:30 a.m. so he or she can get back to family or the shy ones who really come alive when they explain how they solve hard engineering problems, their dedication shines through.
Close Gender Gaps
To create a great atmosphere, we must bridge gender gaps. We must be equally receptive to a man needing to go home early to meet his family needs as to a woman who makes time to pursue golf or other sports, especially when they deliver or exceed their job commitments. There is still work to do to close the gap on gender equality, but the good news is that there is awareness and a movement to close it. I am encouraged to read about campaigns like HeForShe that are also reaching out to men, but there is still a lot to do. Let us take the time to do our part for the next generation.
Photo via Amazon Lab126 Facebook page.