What makes a winning team? I’m betting that literally thousands of articles have been written on this subject, but here is my take after 40 years of experience in many different arenas, all of which had one thing in common…there were people involved!
People, all kinds of people. Positive people, grumpy ones. Learners and apathetic R.O.A.D. warriors (Retired On Active Duty). Those new to the business world and those that have been involved and engaged for years. The one thing that is common with all these folks is that they all want to be a part of something.
As sales leaders, we tend to focus on the individuals that report directly to us. We feel responsible for developing and nurturing them and know that their success contributes to our success. Fair enough. But I believe that no matter how solid your direct team has become, you are nothing but an island within your company if you don’t get all players involved.
Imagine coaching a baseball team of high school freshmen and sophomores, which I had the privilege of doing for four years, and really becoming engaged with 13 of the 15 players. The two remaining kids not only sat on the bench, but sat at the far end of the bench, never interacting with the others. Is this a team, let alone a winning team? Or is this an example of what we see way too often in the corporate world?
At PRAB, we are part of the KMC Global Group of companies. Privately owned and debt free, we are proud of how we have grown over the past few years. Part of this success is due to our belief in the importance of all of our people. We have developed an internal program called Knowledge is Power. Every employee has attended the more than one dozen presentations of this 90 minute small group program. In addition, for every six to eight individuals joining our company, we present another Knowledge is Power session. It is a terrific way to make new hires quickly feel a part of the family. From our CEO to our interns, all have learned about who we are as a group of companies and how this synergy can benefit our customers. We talk about team as T.E.A.M. – Together, Everyone Adds Meaning. Yes, we have an organizational chart, and we share that. We stress, however, that no matter where you fall on that chart, you are just as important as anyone else and your ideas and suggestions matter. No one sits on the end of the PRAB bench. Everyone is engaged.
So continue to learn and grow as leaders of people. Make them as employable as you can during your tenure in your position. Don’t worry about some competitor coming after one of your staff. I never wanted anyone on my staff that no one else wanted anyway.
I encourage you to include your entire staff as part of your team. Don’t become a super strong island with no way to get to the mainland.
Mike joined the EcSell Institute community in 2011 and has spent the last four years focused on continually improving his sales leadership skills. He has spent more than 100 hours over the last four years learning and honing the coaching skills he has to lead his team to record sales results. The EcSell Institute is honored to work with sales leaders like Mike.
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