The concept of team and belonging to something bigger than you
is a rapidly deteriorating concept. Pensions are now the exception rather than
the rule, “job for life´ is a fading dream and “mastery” of a job or profession
is no longer possible. Company ideals and objectives are continually changing.
Anyone that claims that know what lies ahead is kidding themselves and skills
are constantly being challenged and re-invented as the business world continually
evolves. Yesterday’s corporate giant is today’s dinosaur and accepted concepts
of leadership and general business knowledge and best practices are being
chipped away every day. Retiring at sixty-five is becoming less and less
attainable for the majority of the workforce and college degrees are becoming
obsolete at a much more rapid pace. If you are in sales, you are competing
daily with a myriad of other sales people that are selling the same or similar
products or services. Contracts are made to be broken” and prices are
continually compared and negotiated.
Today’s “hot product or service” is tomorrow’s afterthought.
As a leader, you have to step in and build a team and
environment that has the desire, skillsets and attitude to thrive and succeed in
today’s combustible business environment. Be honest with yourself and your
team. Don’t “paint a picture” of an environment that really doesn’t exist.
Success is hard. Building a winning team is challenging and never ending. The
team is only as good as every single member of that team. People can’t “hide”
in today’s lean, multi-tasking environment. You have to become a master of
evaluating talent, identifying the required training and development needed and
be prepared to effectively implement and continually adjust the training and
development process as required.
- Start by understanding that an employee’s first
obligation is to themselves and their family
- Ensure your company and team goals align with an
individual’s personal goals and obligations (in other words, hire and retain
the individuals who align with your organization’s goals and values. If they
don’t align, everyone is wasting their time).
- Clearly communicate your goals and expectations.
- Accept that there is more than one way to
achieve specific goals and successes.
- Provide opportunity for growth and advancement.
Whenever possible, promote from within.
- Set goals and expectations that are clear,
simple, realistic, achievable, valid, provide growth and expansion and meet the
needs of the company and the individual. Goal achievement should signify a win
for the individual, the team and the organization.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate
- Celebrate victories
- Share information (“information is power” is a
losing attitude and approach)
- Don’t insult good employees. People see through
B.S. Be honest and shoot straight
- Provide regular feedback on performance,
strengths and areas of development, and actionable “next steps” for improved
performance and success
- Provide an environment that encourages two way
constructive feedback. If someone has a complaint or concern, require them to provide
recommendations to correct the concern and improve the work process and
- Remember that impatience, frustration and desire
for success is a two-way street. Employees are also in some state of “what else
is out there”?
- Finally, understand that building a successful
team takes time. Have a plan, share the plan, collaborate on the plan and write
it in pencil, because it will evolve and change.