Articles Tagged ‘Teamwork’

EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES… OR ELSE!!!

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

DannyOmalia

The late Joe O’Malia was a master at empowering the employees of his companies to make decisions based on the best interests of THE CUSTOMER. Not many companies today trust their employees to make decisions. Those that do will offer the best service.

In order to be able to empower your people on the level of, oh, say a Nordstrom or a Chick-Fil-A, you must first be VERY CAREFUL whom you hire. You must hire only those who are capable of fitting into your company’s culture. This takes a great deal of thought and effort. There are companies that can help you screen potential employees but whatever you do, be careful to hire the right person.

You must then take the time to properly TRAIN the employee in the skills of the job but also to help them understand that culture and help them desire to add to the culture rather than to detract from it. My experience is that in tough times companies cut back on things like proper hiring procedures and training. That’s the worst thing a company can do.

When asked why she’d been such a successful business woman, the late Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay Cosmetics) answered, “I tried to hire really nice people and then I tried to let them be as nice as they could be.”

And that means EMPOWERED EMPLOYEES. Employees who feel free to break a rule or two if it’s in the best interest of the customer. Which reminds me of a great Nordstrom story!

A harried businessman rushed into a Nordstrom store in a mall at 5:00 PM and hurried to the perfume counter. He asked the SERVICE person if they carried a certain brand of perfume, explaining that this was his anniversary and he had to meet his wife for dinner in one hour and he had done NO planning. The clerk told him the store didn’t carry that brand but said she might be able to help, asking him how long he’d be at the mall.

The customer, obviously quite nervous, told her he had stops to make at the florist and candy store in the mall. She told him to come back in a half hour and she’d have THE perfume for him. He trusted her. IT WAS NORDSTROM.

As he left, the SERVICE person hailed her fellow employee and asked her to watch both counters while she took care of a customer. That employee was glad to help. So she left the store, went to Macy’s at the other end of the mall (which she knew carried THE perfume), bought the perfume, returned and wrapped it, and when the customer showed up with candy and flowers, THE perfume was waiting and wrapped.

Several things here:

• The husband went to NORDSTROM—no place else—with his problem.
• Both SERVICE LADIES broke rules by leaving their posts.
• The first SERVICE LADY no doubt broke a rule by going to Macy’s, buying the product there and selling it at Nordstrom (or maybe not—Nordstrom has very few rules for employees when it comes to SERVICE).
• How was that for TEAMWORK?

Nordstrom obviously hired two good people. They TRAINED and EMPOWERED them to rescue the beleaguered customer. That’s why he went there!

If giving service like Nordstrom were easy, every company would do it. It’s not. But it CAN be done!

Danny O’Malia
Indy’s Trusted Servant
(317) 413-9062
fax (317) 815-8755
www.indystrustedservant.blogspot.com

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Man’s Best Friend and (teamwork) Teacher

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

One of the ways to remain a life-long learner is to look at every experience you have as an opportunity to learn.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to go dog sledding for the very first time. If you love animals, then you can probably imagine what an amazing experience it was to be in the beauty of the snow, with a synchronized team of dogs who were completely bliss’d out when they ran with the sled trailing behind them.

I couldn’t help but make several analogies about dog sledding and teamwork. Here are a few I want to share:

1. Every single team member is important – from the lead dog to the point and wheel dogs to the team dogs. Each played a vital role in achieving the team’s goal.

2. The musher and the rest of the team knew who the lead dog was, and they trusted their leader.

3. The team stopped and regrouped when they needed to. There were times when we had to stop and check on the team, making sure the lines were not tangled and ensuring we were intact and on course.

4. They had fun and enjoyed the ride. The dogs were the most happy when they were working hard. It never fails when I ask coaching clients or teams that I am working with what they want more of – no matter how busy and overworked they are – they say to be challenged. I believe we all desire to give it all we’ve got. It simply makes work and our lives rich and fulfilling.

So, I have a few questions for you to think about:
• Do all of your team members know how vital their contribution is to achieving the goal?
• Are you leading by example and fostering trust with your team?
• Would it be valuable to pause on a project you are currently working on and re-group your team?
• Are you having fun along the way?

I’d love to hear your feedback. Add your comments below.

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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Working in a TEAM

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordan

Every day, I teach organizations and individuals what it means to truly work in a team environment. I do this by facilitating strategic games, survivor themed activities, in-house team building events and ropes challenge courses, just to name a few. Athletes all over the world can attest to the advantages of teamwork – the advantage of having a cohesive team of people working toward a common goal. Peyton Manning can throw all the perfect passes in the world but unless there’s someone to catch the ball, it’s futile.

During a team building event the individual and collective “aha’s” and breakthroughs that happen are amazing. After spending a day on a challenge course with a team recently, I was reflecting on the development and changes in the participants and what “TEAM” means in team building. Here’s the acronym that I use to describe the word “TEAM”:

Transformation – The transformation that can occur through activity based experiential learning is tremendous. For example, when trust is given and received, rapport accelerates exponentially. The trust fall is a common activity used in team building. For some people, it’s no big deal. For others, it’s one of the scariest things in the world. However, allowing yourself to trust your team and the others around you has a way of transforming your attitude and your heart.

Engagement – There’s a quote by an unknown source that says, “Teamwork divides tasks and multiplies successes.” Or “Many hands make light work.” Both of these quotes reflect the effects of engagement and having an attitude of togetherness. For example, social media has been bringing people together all over the world as it’s use has become mainstream. It’s been a way for people to connect and have a voice. It’s no different in the workplace. Camaraderie is a beautiful thing.

Active Learning – There is an ancient proverb: “What I hear, I forget; what I see I remember; what I do I understand.” Active learning is learning by DOING. It is how we learn best. I run into participants of events…four, five, and six years after they have had a defining moment on a challenge course and they will say, “I STILL remember doing the commitment bridge and how powerful that was for me!” Experiential learning stays with us, and we can leverage that embodied learning to help us in other areas of our lives.

Mentorship – Teamwork provides mentoring. Sometimes you are the giver, sometimes the receiver. It is an honor and learning experience for both parties, in most cases. Ken Lauher, celebrity Feng Shui consultant recently wrote about mentorship in one of his blog posts, saying:

“The quantity and quality of mentors we have in our lives will greatly impact the wealth we can earn in our career. A working mother who knows she can find good child care will have better focus, leading to greater success at work. An intern with a supportive supervisor will advance quickly in his chosen career. A husband with a wife who encourages him in his business (or vice versa) will do well.”

Strong mentorship gives an edge that cannot be found alone. Period.

There is a delicate balance as we all sometimes have to retreat to “me” time. But while you’re standing in the present moment, among the team you’re with, envision the championships you win-as a team-in the future. Perhaps that will make you understand and appreciate your team in a way you never have.

What experiences have you had in working with your team?

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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6 Things that Make Butler Tough to Beat

Monday, March 28th, 2011

1) Coach Brad Stevens is an excellent basketball strategist and tactician
2) Coach Brad Stevens is a masterful motivator
3) The players are intelligent
4) The players have good basketball skills
5) The players are aggressive and tough
6) The players do not let “decreasing returns” affect their skill or motivation level: in short, when they are down in points, they do not let that affect their mind set — they play on in the same intelligent, skillful, aggressive manner as they do when they’re ahead.

It’s rare to have all six of these factors in play for one team. That’s why it’s hard to beat Butler. Of course, if the opposing team has very outstanding players, Butler may lose; in fact, they very well may in their next game — but don’t bet against them, even when they’re down (remember factor 6).

These 6 factors can aptly apply to your small business.

If you as the Owner/CEO have a good business model and strategy and combine it with a leadership that can articulate that plan and vision to your employees, plus motivate them to execute it, you will have made the first round in “reaching the Final Four” in business.

However, the other four factors are crucial. When you recruit employees, you want individuals as intelligent and skilled as possible, given that they have other requisite characteristics, and not settle on hiring someone because they will tacitly agree with you.

The employees should have good skills and be willing to improve them.

Those you hire should have a tenacity and a work ethic that makes them energetic, aggessive toward solving problems, and a toughness to be able to work through setbacks.

Look for someone who can exhibit factor 6 — they do not let setbacks or problems affect their mindset. Of course their ability to do so will be influenced greatly by the tone you set as leader, where you exhibit Brad Stevens-like leadership that takes 11-point deficits in stride en route to the Final Four.

The power comes in having all 6 operative in your business, especially factor 6.

John Gifford
Publisher
www.indysmallbiz.com
johng@indysmallbiz.com
(317) 407-3382

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