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Leadership: Fostering Great Teamwork

Retro Baseball Scoreboard

“Are we winning?”

That’s a pretty easy question to answer if you’re the coach of a sports team. Indeed, any player can glance up at the scoreboard and see how things are going for themselves. It helps that everyone is playing in a very simple environment under very specific circumstances: we’ve all come here for x hours to watch the Blue Team play the Red Team, and the one with the highest score at the final buzzer is the winner. Easy.

Business is a different animal – but the question still remains “Are we winning?”

The thing is – for our home improvement, home service business – it’s not so easy most of the time for the 'players' to find out what the score is. There’s no great, big flashy display hanging from the rafters of the auditorium shouting out “Your team is down by 10 points with 40 minutes left in regulation – so get on with orchestrating your comeback!” or “It’s the 5th inning and we’re down by 4 runs, so we need to change our approach at the plate.” In fact, even the leader might not have a clue which way things are going.

The Leader who has done an Honest Assessment of where their business stands, and then drawn out ambitious but achievable goals and created a plan to reach them, can see better than anyone else how things are going. They are the one best able to best answer the question “Are we winning?” As Team-Builder-in-Chief they’re hard at work assembling the team whose combined efforts can close the gap between where the business is today and where it could be tomorrow: the Promised Land.

The challenge becomes: That big picture is all in the Leader’s head. How can you make your vision the vision of the team and foster the kind of teamwork needed to make it work? This is a larger conversation, which we’ll attack at the foundational level. Where does Great Teamwork start? Leadership.

We talked about being the Leader that Others Follow before but this point cannot be overstated. The success of the team rises and falls on leadership. The leader must be committed to the success of the team and each of its members. This is something that can’t be faked – and the team knows when it’s there. This kind of leader inspires a shared vision, gives stability to team, promotes harmony, gets people to want to work together, enables and empowers others, models the way, challenges the process, and encourages the heart. That’s a lot – let’s unpack that first piece here.

Inspiring a Shared Vision

Shared Values – these define a team. “Who are we?” “Why are we here?” “What do we do?” “How do we do it?” The answers to these questions give an identity to your team. Randomness in identity leads to randomness in effort. That means you want to be intentional. What’s your Company Story? Do you have a company Vision, Mission, and Values?

Clear Goals – a goal is a compass for the team. It determines which direction is the right one, and which direction is not. If you don’t have a goal, there is no reason to have a team. With a goal you can go somewhere, and without a goal you can’t go anywhere. Goals are also landmarks along the way, they mark progress and meeting them gives reason to celebrate. Put goals in front of your team that flow from their shared values and they’ll go after them.

Are you winning? What are you doing to foster great teamwork in your business? What could you be doing?

See you soon.

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