What does teamwork really mean? Would the U.S. economy be where it is today if we really had this? Ok, the U.S. economy is for another post. This post is about us, and how in bad times we are becoming a better and more focused team.
This Wow! was hard to write. It was also exciting to write. It exposes leadership weaknesses (clarity, verification). It also cheers leadership strengths (vision, empathy, persistence) that compel people to do the right thing right…to keep the business—our ship—clipping along in or toward a blue ocean (niche success!), even in the midst of chaos…
Here’s our “wow” for this week: This Wow! goes to my team. This month every single person on the team deferred their pay until the work they have in progress is completed. The only exceptions made were for part-time team members who completed short projects.
Why is this “wow!”? I look around and see that we are not the only team not completely in check with our strategy day to day. There’s a better way and we are moving to it…and ready to help others do the same.
If people stop doing the right things right, the ship stops, or at least stalls and goes off course.
We didn’t stop…thanks to the team. The communication is becoming clearer every day. And we are making the small yet continuous adjustments needed to keep on course.
Team: that you can connect with what we offer for your future—and are staying the course during bad times—deserves a resounding Wow!
Leaders: what my team sees is a future, and what’s in it for them (aka WIIFM).
And they are correct in that vision. One does not cut off their finger because they have a paper cut and it hurts for a little while. One can envision what they can make with that hand when it heals, and it pleases them. Focus on that pleasure, not the temporary pain.
Why is this important? To leaders everywhere: Have you ever paid someone, in hopes they will deliver better, faster, smarter, but they haven’t done so …yet? Have you ever not felt right about what you are getting, but you pay—once, twice, again—because you are assured they are almost done or…because they say they need it now?
Guess what. You, the leader, are solely responsible for getting what you expect. Your communication drives the ship. If your communication is not clear or if what you say…or do…delivers the wrong message… you will go off course. If you trust but do not verify, you are setting yourself up for higher costs, higher risks and a possible wreck.
How does an employer develop a team that truly feels and acts as part of a team…sticking in, in good times and bad? I discovered that when I did not get what I expected, it was in part due to me attracting and somehow promoting the behavior through lack of clarity and giving out rewards linked to hope rather than results.
While I feel blessed with this team, there is no magic in creating this power for your company. Be transparent and communicate empathetically…in a way that connects with each person.
Congrats, to this team! Wow! I am grateful for you. You are helping to keep us afloat. You have realized that yes, what you do or what you do not do affects the company, your future in it, and the bigger impact we can make on economies around the World. That you have done so during bad times shows that we have indeed achieved teamwork.