It Takes A Team To Succeed

There’s no “I” in Team

Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”  Do not try to fool yourself… because you can’t manage a business on your own.  As a manager, you need to assemble and develop a team of capable and trustworthy employees.  A solid team gives you the freedom to focus on making your business a success.  Additionally, they will strive to achieve personal success which will, in turn, make the team even stronger.

Just Let Go

Control is a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, you retain control of various aspects of your business and always know what’s going on.  Do you really?  A study done by Life Science  (http://www.livescience.com/2493-mind-limit-4.html) says our mind can focus on a maximum of four things at once with a level of success.  Hmm…  1. What’s for lunch today?  2. I need to get the oil in the car changed and the tires rotated.  3. Where are those monthly revenue figures Jones was supposed to give me?  4. There is a meeting in two hours and I still need to finish the proposal.  That is just what is on your mind, but your responsibility does not stop there, does it?

Realistically, we can say that numbers one and two will end soon enough and two more tasks will replace them.   Thinking you have it all under control, you end up working late, missing deadlines, and falling behind.  Hence the curse.  Some things are within your control; others give you the illusion you are.  Focus on the tasks within your control and evaluate the importance of those which are not.  Doing it on your own may seem possible, but in the business world it takes a team to truly succeed.

Where Did They Get ALL THAT TIME?!

How many times have you heard the expression “We all have the same 24 hours in a day?”  Have you ever noticed that some people seem to accomplish so much it almost seems like they’ve got an extra hour or two?  Great managers understand that time is valuable for everyone, especially themselves.  They trust the ability of the team they have.  As a manager, you also must trust in your team’s capabilities.  Instead of contemplating the refusal of a new project, take a moment to gather the necessary information.  Then bring your team together and delegate tasks to those members whose strengths will be most useful.  Finally, have faith in the team you chose to get the job done.

Get by with a Little Help from your Friends

There is no shame in admitting you need help; everyone needs help.  Put away your ego and reach out to your colleagues.  Network with other departments in your organization and leverage them when needed.  Reach out to those that have walked the path before you.  Everyone likes to feel neededIn addition, it is natural to want to help a friend.  Kind words have power so use them, both in the office and out.  Be willing to be there for others in their time of need.  Teamwork goes both ways.  Your success, and the success of your business, depends on it.

Being a great manager means being a great leader.  The only way to be a great leader is to lead with integrity, which can be defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”  Who do you know that fits this description?  We all have at least one person who seems to make all decisions based on a certain moral code.  Is that person you?  Ask yourself how you would want others to think of you and be that person.  Most of all, lead by example and raise the bar for both your team and yourself.

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3 Inspiring Things To Tell Your Team

Your team’s success, as well as your own, depends upon your leadership.  It will not take long to succeed as a team with great leadership; and it won’t take long to fail with poor leadership.  It all starts with communication and what you say to your team.  Here are 3 inspiring things that you can tell your team:

I Believe in You

Remember when you were a kid and you doubted your ability to do something?  Chances are your mom or dad, or another loving adult, would not let you give up. They knew you could do it.  As adults, we don’t often here that phrase, do we?  Imagine how much more could be accomplished if we said that more often.  The phrase, “I believe in you”, can inspire even the most confident team member.  Be careful to not just say it but show it.  Give them freedom to get their job done, and even to make mistakes.  Be there to pick them up but believe in the person you chose to get the job done.

I Want to Know Your Opinion

We have all heard the expression: opinions are like heartbeats, every living person has one (and, yes, I used the PG version of that expression!).  Not every opinion will bring value or progress, but by hearing out even the not-so-good ones, you build confidence in team members.  It also gives you an opportunity to discover where weaknesses might be and implement solutions to help those team members.  You do not have to agree with every opinion, but inside one of those coal mines might be a diamond.  So, listen to your team!

Tell Me How I Can Help You

Such a simple statement, but rarely spoken.  After you say it, listen to what your team members say.  Then jump in and help.  A point should be made that this does not mean you do their job for them.  That’s their job!  It does mean that if they have questions, want to run an idea past you, or need a half an hour brainstorming session, you are willing to accommodate.  Be willing to show a team member how do perform a specific task, rather than doing it for them.  Remember, give a man a fish and he eats for one night; teach him how to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.  Make your mantra to teach your team to fish and your basket of success will always be full.

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, but you can’t forget your number one role as a manager: be a leader.  Let your team know you believe in them, listen to their opinion, and seek the areas they need assistance.  Earn their trust and loyalty and lead your team to success.

3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Team’s Productivity

As a manager, continually find ways to improve your team’s productivity.  Let’s start with three quick and inexpensive options:

Let the Music Play

Your employees likely spend much of their time in front of a computer in the course of an 8+ hour day.  Tasks which are redundant, especially in front of a screen, cause boredom and a loss of focus.  Studies have shown that music makes repetitive tasks, which require little concentration, more tolerable.  This helps the day go faster and work seems less like a four-letter word.  Implement music in your work place and you will see a happier, more productive team.  Projects will be completed in a more timely fashion, resulting in reduced overtime and overall savings.  This works in a variety of scenarios so be brave and turn the music up!

What Should You Play?

Music allows an escape from the mundane, while masking a noisy work place – as in a factory.  In an office environment, music can serve as ambient noise.  Keep in mind that lyrics can add distraction at the office, so consider instrumental or classical music.  This will allow your team to stay focused, while being more productive.

Let the Sun Shine In

Lighting plays a major role in your team’s physical and mental well-being, and it has been proven people feel better under specific lighting.  Therefore, there is a connection between light and productivity, and cooler light will make your team more productive.  Natural light is the best and will improve one’s overall mood and energy.

If you are lucky enough to scout out your office space, always opt for more windows, especially where a majority of work will be done.  The more windows the better.  Even if there is a higher cost, you will make it up in the increase in productivity.  If you are in an existing location, consider blue enriched light bulbs.  They increase performance while reducing fatigue, both contributing to a healthy bottom line.

Make it Pleasant to Breathe In

All senses affect memory; however, the sense of smell is the strongest.  It is even stronger than sight.  We associate smell with locations and even people and can instantly be taken back in time.  Ever smell a freshly baked apple pie and you are transported to Grandma’s kitchen on Thanksgiving?  Your mood is also affected by your sense of smell.   Ever wonder why realtors bring cookies to a showing?  Yep, to get you in the mood to make a deal.  The aroma of coffee has the ability to reduce your perception of time, causing you to browse a little longer.  Even baby powder can prolong your perception.

Some scents can make you more alert, and therefore, more productive.  Studies have shown that diffusing lemon oil into an office can increase productivity by over 50%.  Before you start filling your office with eucalyptus and ginger, check with your team for any allergies or aversions.  Then find something that works and implement it.

In Closing…

Keep your team happy and productive with an office that is filled with good music, great lighting, and pleasant scents, and watch their productivity rise.  You will also notice a decrease in turnover due to the rise in their happiness.  And it may not be a bad idea to bake some cookies, too!