TEAM: a number of persons forming one association; to gather or join in a team, a band, or a cooperative effort or in joint action. Group working together.
As a child, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life; Teamwork. I was very fortunate to have an awesome coach by the name of Mr. Gill. He taught us that hard work would pay off and that we had to practice and play together. “Work Together, Stay Together, Play Together.. Play Together (Call and Respond)..
Our motto: “Work Together, Stay Together, Play Together” has stuck with me to this day. Who would have thought that a team of outcast would debut in a league dominated by All-Star Teams and Super stars and come in 3rd Place in our first season? We would go on to finish out two (2) more seasons as Champions and undefeated. I credit our success to a coach (a self employed businessman) that was dedicated leader and taught us how to be a team. He was fair, firm and consistent. Under his amazing leadership, we went from zeros to heroes. I don’t think those group of little guys would have been what we turned out to be if it had not been for our Coach and Mentor, Mr. Gill.
He had several key people skills which I believe made our team so successful. You can turn your members into a team that does the best possible job for your organization by implementing these five ideas:
Be Approachable – You must be a friend to your team members (employees), however do not treat them like close personal friends. The reality is that they want you to be the leader (boss) and they want to be the team members (employees). You need to be someone they can converse with on multiple non-work-related topics. From finances to family and children’s issues, from family to vacation plans. They must always feel safe and non-threatened while in your presence. An open door policy is always appreciated.
Be Loyal – If team members know you’re always loyal to them, they’ll give you the same in return. This is known as the “law of indirect effort.” If you want to be heard, you must first listen. If you want to be appreciated you must first appreciate. If you want to get recognition, you must first recognize. If you can’t get what you need, help others get what they need. If you want a truly loyal team, be a loyal leader and mentor. Sometimes to be truly loyal to another person you must be willing to allow your own interests to take second place. The leader of the future will make decisions that are best for the people rather than the bottom line. In the future this type of mind set will help you climb the corporate ladder at an accelerated pace.
Be Reliable – Be a person who consistently does as promised and you will be known as reliable. Reliability is an admirable social character trait and it’s a common trait in great leaders. When you hire people you expect them to be reliable; just be sure you demonstrate the same courtesy. Be aware that when it comes to demonstrating reliability; never listen to what people say, instead watch what they do. Actions always speak louder than words.
Be Fair – This is the fastest way to establish your credibility among your team. When dealing with people and problem solving you must be free from bias and judgment. You must be willing and open to see all points of view before making decisions. Be willing to put yourself on the line and go to bat for your team. Be willing to walk the trenches and get your boots dirty with them. This is another common trait among great leaders.
Have Fun with the Team – Never be too busy to laugh or tell a joke; maybe even hang out (cookout/party). A good laugh helps people to shine thru a crisis, and when your leader is laughing with you it can truly lift spirits. Don’t have to be Facebook friends, just be a human being and live a little.