Posts filed under ‘Team Building’
Every time I hear Gary Keller talk he talks about talent. EVERY TIME. And it never fails, someone in the room raises their hand and says something like “I’m having trouble with my buyers agent.” or assistant, or whatever. Who the person is doesn’t matter. What matters is that people are always the problem! Yes. People. People are our problem!
Why are people our problem? It’s usually a combination of things in the beginning. Rookie mistakes that we make hiring. First, we may have hired the wrong person. Well if we hired the wrong person we simply need to “de-hire” said person and hire the right one. Initial problem solved.
Now we’ve done it! We’ve got the right person! Happy day! We’ve got our amazing buyers agent, assistant, marketer, etc. We couldn’t be happier. Business is running smooth and we starting thinking that people are the solution and not the problem. Yes, if people are the problem then people are also the solution. Enter problem number two: We notice that performance begins to slip, our people seem unhappy or discontent with their job with which they once thrived? Well, it goes back to people being the problem. EXCEPT this time the person that is the problem is generally US, not THEM.
Yes. We are now the problem. What happens is when we hire capacity talent (people who can grow in their role and ultimately into a new one) instead of cul-de-sac talent (people who lack growth capability) they want to be developed. Capacity talent wants to thrive at their job. They want to be the best they can be. They want to learn more. They want the opportunity for advancement even if they choose not to take it. Capacity talent will rarely rest until they are the absolute best at their job (and possibly even better than you at yours). And this is where we lose them. Because our leadership skills are lacking. We fear that if we develop our staff to be “too talented” that they will leave us! And then our perfect business where we were once so happy will be shattered. I can tell you this is not the case.
In my early leadership days I had the same fear. That if I taught my people enough to leave me that they would. Reality is that if I taught them how to thrive on their own and go it alone, they stayed! They stayed and were happy and more productive than ever! Enter: happy dance! This happens because you are satisfying their need to grow and develop. You are providing the leadership that they desire. And through this process they usually realize that going it alone would be harder and less rewarding for them. By less rewarding I don’t necessarily mean financially. We’ve all stayed at underpaying jobs because we’ve respected and liked the people we worked for. And if you’re anything like me I can say that you’ve probably given a boss or two the “one fingered peace sign” at a good paying job. Yes, I have actually done that. That woman was evil. But I digress…
Teach your people to leave you and they rarely will. Be the solution to their career desires and they are yours forever.
Business is all about the bottom line usually….profit. As business owners we mull over Profit and Loss statements with a fine tooth comb looking for where we can cut costs, improve productivity and increase profit. But; in order to increase productivity and cut costs we should know what motivates our people, or us for that matter.
Is you business all about profit, or is it about purpose? I would like to think that its about both. Obviously you are in business to make a living, not to go broke. So yes, a bottom like profit is very important. But what about the purpose? Do you have a purpose? Lets talk Google. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me about the internet you would know that I find Google to be one of the most facinating business’ around. For a multitude of reasons, but one in particular.
Google gives their engineers what they call “20 percent time”. 20% time is where Google allows its employees to take 20% of their week and work on anything they want. Guess what, this is where the most productive and forward thinking ideas and systems in Google come from. From the “free time”. So when you think of purpose, stand in Googles shoes. They make sure that the necessary things to function are taken care of in 80% of their employees time, but the rest, that golden 20% is where the magic happens. It is what gives their employees purpose.
In Seth Godin’s latest book, Linchpin; he references a study by author Richard Florida. Florida’s study was over 20,000 professionals giving them 38 factors that motivated them to be their best at work. Naturally, your thinking that salary, or financial gain is #1. That for more money, people would be more productive. If that was your though, you would be wrong. There is no doubt that money is a motivator, but it only ranked #4.
- Challenge and responsibility
- A stable work environment
- Professional development
- Peer recognition
- Stimulating colleagues and bosses
- Exciting job content
- Organizational culture
- Location and community
I am greatly intrigues by #1 and #5. This shows that talented people stive for a challenge; and best of all, they want to get better at what they do. When we look at people who are nurtured in the way that motivates them, they are more productive. If they are more productive, then they will grow the bottom line. They will care, because it has become part of them.
If we give our people purpose, they will help us grow profit. If we give our people a salary and treat them like a drone, they will give us headaches and work just hard enough to not get fired.
Would like to thank two people for inspiration of todays blog. Thanks to Paula Mosley and Bob Miller… Paula is a Team Leader out of Tennessee whom I’ve never actually met; and Bob is an agent in Ocala, FL who heard me speak at a Social Media class last week. So how do these two paths of people who don’t know each other cross today to inspire me to write? Summed up in one word, effectiveness.
I am a firm believer in focus on what moves you forward and the rest will fix itself. Now, if you’ve ever seen my desk you know this to be true. There are contracts stacked on top of contracts, post it notes, cards, bills, books and more. To be honest you can’t even see the desk when I have my laptop out. So what am I talking about when I say focus on what moves you forward? Lets think about it. What are the actions that you make on a daily basis to move you towards your goal? If you didn’t take action today toward your goal, your simply not going to achieve it. As Susan Scott (author of Fierce Conversations) says “Our careers, companies and relationships succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly—one conversation at a time.”
So we start off with Paula Mosley. At about 5:30 this evening as I was stuck in rush hour traffic I was doing my usual traffic routine…checking my Twitter and Facebook of course. Up pops Paula’s status on FB “Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things. ♥ I wanna be effective!”. BAM! Inspiration strikes what if we have them both? We should have them both. Effective is far more important. However, on your path to mastering what makes you effective, you will become efficient and eventually hone your skills. So, a big thank you goes out to P’Mo for my drive home entertaining ramblings in my head.
Part two: Enter Bob Miller. It’s about 6:30 this evening and I am now home from traffic in my usual spot…the computer. Bob posts a question on my FB wall asking if I prospect, call and follow-up with folks (regular prospecting) or is internet my only source. Simply asking, where is the time to do ALL of it? The answer is a simple yes; I do these things. However the response is not that simple. Instantly I think back to my earlier mental ramblings about Paula’s statement and the clouds have cleared and how it all gets done has now become a little clearer(believe me, I have wondered on more than one occasion sometimes how everything gets done and I still see daylight!).
Without thinking twice I start my response to Bob and out comes the following phrase – “….it’s all about time management and being efficient at the effective things.” Now, this is something that I’ve always known, but when you can articulate it and put it into perspective for someone else…. well, now that’s just magical. So, thank you again to Paula for giving me the exact words to say what I needed to!
A simple sentence, right? If you look at it a little bit longer there are a few key points about this sentence that seem to be commonly overlooked by those belonging to a team. So lets break it down and put it into perspective. I’ve been a part of teams as long as I can remember, growing up as an athlete. After that, I’ve been building teams my entire adult life. I find that most people view a team as the first part of that sentence “a group of people who work together”. Thats great… but just because a few people work together, a team it does not make.
Lets look at the second part of that sentence that makes it very important….”fulfilling their own unique roles”. What does that mean? Own unique roles? Well, a team has to function as one, but every member of a team does not necessarily do the same thing as the other members. Rarely in fact, is that the case.
We’ll wrap it up with the third part of that sentence and ultimately the most important…”to accomplish a larger goal or common purpose.” Why is the team in place? Whatever the answer is should be the answer to keeping everyone on the same page towards the desired outcome. Think of a football team. They are all there to get the ball across the goal line. THATS IT. They all have a different role in making sure that happens, but ultimately the goal is to get the pigskin in the end zone.
The reason I feel compelled to talk about this today is because I see folks who are on teams who have a stronger purpose of their own, rather than the teams purpose AND I see people who are running teams (or trying to anyways) who aren’t taking into account the needs of the team and its members. As team leaders we lean on our team members to buy into the team vision, to support the team goals; but are we as a team also supporting their goals?
Just a little food for a team thought.