Promo Business Management: How to Get the Most Out of Your Team
At the heart of every company that earns the attention of those within its industry is a team. Individuals are all filling a seat on the bus of that business, each with their specific job description and goals. As the leader of my team, it’s my responsibility to make sure my people are in the right seat on the bus, and using their gifts and talents to the best of their ability. However, all teams are not created equal. I am not able to fabricate enthusiasm or passion, and I also can’t impose feelings of connectivity and collaboration. Ultimately, it is up to each of our employees to embrace our purpose and aim their energy, time and talents toward accomplishing it.
While I can’t force the process, I can concentrate my efforts on taking care of my team. The goal is to develop people who are passionate about what they do, dedicated to each other, and determined to grow the business while they grow as individuals.
On a recent trip to Southern California with my sales team, I realized that we were constantly surrounded by amazing sports cars—beautiful, expensive, lavish cars that are meant to be enjoyed. The level of maintenance that a high-performance sports car requires to perform at its peak is much greater than that of a standard, everyday vehicle. You would never buy a sports car with intentions to take curves slowly and not experience the thrills for which you paid handsomely. The car was meant for more than that. It was built to handle the road well and take on more demanding situations and greater speed. Because of this, the amount of maintenance such a car needs is much greater. The owner must be responsible enough to treat the car with the care it deserves, or it will lose its capabilities. It is no different with our team. When we place high demands on our teams to perform and give their best, and when we require them to be pushed to their limit, the way we maintenance them should reflect that.
How can you ensure your team is performing at its highest level? Here are seven inspection areas and questions that you can consider for each.
7 Inspection Areas for High-Performance Teams:
What kind of leader are you? Do you lead by example, by asking only what you are willing to give yourself? Are you developing your current and future leaders by serving them? What steps can you take to develop them further? To be strong leaders, we must care about our people as much as our companies. While being a part of your team, you want your team members to not only learn and grow in their industry, but to do the same personally. If their time at work does nothing to help them discover new things about their character and purpose, then are they truly the most effective they can be? Are they in the right seat on the bus? Everything that happens within your team rises and falls on leadership.
Are you encouraging continuing education among your team members? Teams that excel are those that strive to stay ahead of the learning curve in each area they represent. You can promote continued reading and even allow each member of your team to attend at least one seminar or conference that will help to enhance their job performance. Not only will the continual pursuit of knowledge build your team’s confidence, but it will help them grow as people who are being frequently challenged.
Are your team members still focused on the mission and vision of the company? Complacency is a company killer and can creep its way into even the strongest teams. The only way to know if you have a frustrated employee is to consistently check in with your team, offering them an opportunity to be transparent. There may even be times that you have to help refocus them when a project has veered them away from the main objective and mission of the company. As Ernest Hemingway said, “Never confuse movement with action.” Just because your people seem to be busy doesn’t mean they are busy with tangible and productive tasks. Guard against mindset drift.
Are you allowing your team members the time to think creatively and free of distraction? Sometimes your high-performance people need an honest brain break. When we step away from our day to day and zoom out, we are allowed the chance to see things differently. A fresh perspective not only helps team members declutter their minds, but also allows them to re-prioritize and simplify their wins.
Are you encouraging your team both personally and professionally? It has been said that “there is nourishment in encouragement.” Get to know your people well enough to know how to encourage them individually. Some may simply need verbal reassurance and praise, while others might prefer a free team lunch. Knowing when they’ve gotten it right will help them reach the objective more quickly the next time and with enthusiasm. Your encouragement will help to solidify that what they have contributed really does matter. A positive attitude or day at work spills over into their personal lives with their families, friends, etc.
Are you checking in with your leaders to see if they are engaging with someone who has an outside perspective that can help grow them personally and professionally? While the idea of mentoring may seem intimidating to some, a set of fresh eyes that have seen a similar journey is invaluable. A mentor can provide first-hand knowledge of the industry and serve as a creative barometer for that team member. As a mentor offers encouragement and advice, he or she can also be an excellent sounding board for ideas and goals.
Are you creating and fostering a healthy work environment that will encourage your team to thrive? If you are unsure of the culture of your company, listen to what they say outside of work. If you’ve taken the time to create an environment where your people can be creative, share ideas, and try new things, even if they fail, chances are complaints won’t be the norm. The experience that being a part of your team or company allows should enrich the lives of those who choose it and set them up for further success. A healthy culture breeds passionate people who are invested in what they are a part of.
The more time I spend leading my team, the more I understand the value of investing in them as people first and employees second. There doesn’t need to be any apology for having high expectations. With consistency, any team can come to expect it and rise to the occasion. Anything worth doing should be done with excellence. However, finding the balance between pushing and performing maintenance remains important. Ultimately, the desire should be that the people who come into your building every day truly feel like a team and that they are a part of something. In order to continue to grow and reproduce your brand, you have to be a unit, all striving and pushing together. Collaboration is the secret sauce that makes each one excel and stand out. When intelligent people come together and push one another, incredible ideas result. In the words of Harry S. Truman, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
Bart Simpson is a third-generation leader for family owned and operated Flywheel Brands Inc., a print and digital marketing company focused on generating momentum behind today’s brands. A career entrepreneur, Bart has owned several businesses, the first of which he launched as a teenager. After earning his degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, he was brought on by Flywheel to grow its client base from coast to coast. Bart now supplies innovative leadership to his growing Flywheel team as vice president of client development.
In addition to his colorful YouTube contributions, Bart dedicates his time as owner of CrossFit Rivne in Ukraine and as chairman of the board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes - Ukraine. He and his wife, Ashley, reside in Chattanooga and are proud parents of three young Flywheelers, Crew, Cove and Cora.