In this day and time of global economic crisis, fear and uncertainty from all business fronts employers and employees alike need to have a focused and positive mindset. Every leader of an organization or smaller team must first look at themselves. You can not build a team without first looking at yourself. It always starts with you. You can effectively teach only what you consistently model.
I have more than 25 years as a Senior Sales Executive for Fortune 500, mid-size and start-up companies motivating, empowering and coaching highly successful high-performance sales teams that delivered, enviable sales results. It all started with me having a positive mental attitude and passing that along to my team. You cannot tolerate negativity in teammates or the organization as a whole — it is like a cancer and it must be cut out.
Negativity will suck all the energy out of a business — like a vacuum, you will find it is hard to be energetic when negativity is the prevailing atmosphere. In order to have energy, you must remain positive, for energy is a by-product of a positive attitude. You can’t feel positive and lethargic and drawn out at the same time. Yes, you can experience fatigue for working long hours, frustration for not getting enough done on a certain day, fearfulness of making that presentation or calling that prospect, but you cannot lose your energy when you have the power of positive thinking at your back!
Therefore, the first thing that must be evident is the leader must be positive in mind, body and spirit. Secondly, the leader must be adaptable or flexible. He or she must model this and expect this from each team member.
“Inflexibility is one of the worst human feelings. You can learn to check impetuosity, overcome fear with confidence, and laziness with discipline. But for rigidity of mind there is no antidote. It carries the seeds of its own destruction.” Author Unknown.
The following are what I call the four Cs of team building as I have learned in my years of building high-performance sales teams.
1. Highly Communicative — Communication is absolutely imperative for success. Open communication fosters trust and trust is the basis for all successful relationships. To improve your communication:
– Be Candid — Your goal should be to speak truthfully but deliver with kindness.
– Be Quick — State your concern or issue within 24 hours. Do not let it fester.
– Be Inclusive — Do not hoard information. Be discreet if need be, although open communication increases trust, trust increases ownership, and ownership increases participation.
2. Highly Collaborative — All your strength is in union.
– See teammates as collaborators, not competitors. This is huge in that you must not have glory seekers for oneself on the team.
– Be supportive, not suspicious of teammates.
– Focus on your team, not yourself. It is a relay race, not a sprint. There is no I in TEAM.
3. Highly Competent — You cannot build a great team without great players. You can lose, but you can not win without them. Great players:
– Are committed to excellence — Excellence gauges our value on our own potential not on a comparison to others.
– Never settle for average — They always give their all.
– Pay attention to detail — Dale Carnegie said, “Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.”
– Perform with consistency — They give their best all the time.
4. Committed — “The harder you work the harder it is to surrender.” Vince Lombardi.
– Commitment is found in the midst of the battle.
– Commitment has nothing to do with your gifts or abilities.
– Commitment comes as a choice not conditions.
Commitment lasts when it’s based on your values. Tie your commitments to your values. There is no such thing as a half-hearted champion.
These are very tough times that we all face. As team leaders and team players we need all the positive, high-performing employees we can get on the team. As we manage through this current chaos let’s all remember we can change our attitudes and ensure we have a positive mental attitude. Additionally, we can take personal responsibility to be change agents and be the best team players we can be through living the four Cs of team building.
Employers want and need leaders who are change agents that can communicate clearly, are collaborative, competent and committed. They want problem solvers. Are you ready to break through the barriers and be a team leader. It will add value to you, your employer and others.