Posts Tagged ‘team’



What’s My Motivation? How to Reward Your Team

Understanding how to motivate people is key in any business and specially in non-profits. Early in life I thought most people were motivated by cash. After all happiness comes with more stuff, right? Well, that’s not been my experience. While most of us want to live well, most people I know would give money for the satisfaction of doing something they love. While I still have a long way to go in becoming a better manager of people, here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years. Praise publicly, criticize privately. There’s nothing more encouraging to a team member than the praise of a superior in a public setting. The opposite, however, is true for criticism. Over the years I have made the mistake of inverting this equation with dire consequences. Take a chance. Everyone wants to have an impact in their work environment. One of the most motivational things…

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Selfishness: a Team Killer

Some call it self preservation. I call it selfishness. As a consultant I see selfishness and a lack of respect for the team that happens in most organizations, including in ministry. But this less-than-ideal motivation is often masked as an altruistic quality by its offender. Here are few examples of how people hide their selfishness in business settings. The Exaggerator. He makes the problem bigger and more dire than it really is so he can assure his request gets funded. His new computer is way more important than anyone else’s. In my experience, people in IT have the corner on this one. Throw in a few jargon words like API, SAS followed by “security breach” and the boss is asking how soon he can have that computer set up. The Diva. Everyone knows that if she doesn’t get her way, there’s going to be a meltdown soon. The Diva’s project,…

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To Build a Winning Team, Talent is Not Enough

Sometimes the team with the most talent loses. The 2006 Brazilian National team was the favorite to win the World Cup. They were touted as, potentially, the most talented soccer team ever assembled. Yet, the world favorite was eliminated during the quarter finals much to the disappointment of Brazilians worldwide, including yours truly. What happened? How can so much raw talent, experience, and stardom result in such a poor performance? While some blame Brazil’s coach, Parreira, most of us saw clearly the problem play itself out on the field: superstars who could not play together as a team. It was obvious that the players were more preoccupied in looking good individually than winning games together. Individually, they were the best in the world; together, however, they were less than the sum total of their talents. All the talent, pride and praise of Brazil’s “jogo bonito (translated, “the beautiful game”), could…

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Five Professional Types That Can Derail Your Team

You don’t wan to mess with these guys, much less have them on your staff. If any of these professional types finds his way into your team, make sure you deal with them swiftly and remove them from power as soon as possible. In my experience, the longer they stay, the faster your business or ministry will be derailed. It’s not a matter of if, but of when. Old School Board. No these are not school board members who are old, but old board members who have lost touch with anything current. “Social media? That’s just an0ther fad.” I have seen more dynamic ideas die during ministry presentations due to board members’ inabilities to grasp the importance and significance of communicating with digital natives. If your board has more people in their 70s and 80s than people in their 30s and 40s you might be in trouble, serious trouble. IT…

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You Can Cultivate Talent But Not Teach It

You can cultivate talent, but you cannot teach, coach, or even motivate people into developing skills they do not posses or are not naturally gifted. I used to believe that with enough effort, people could do anything they want. After all, I was told growing up that I could do anything I wanted to do as long as I set my mind to it and worked hard enough at it. Well, that’s a lie. A big fat lie. One of the reasons for whatever success we have seen at The A Group rests in our ability to hire talented people and challenge and resource them to continue to grow. I’m proud of the work of we do, but I’m mostly proud of the team that output so much quality. I have seen companies twice our size that are not able to accomplish as much. Here are some skills you cannot…

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How I Have Assembled an Awesome Team

We purposely don’t have many sacred cows in the businesses that I run. We adapt and change fast and have become “platform agnostics” so we can server our clients better in a fast-changing business environment. Sacred cows only slow things down and are always self serving. There are three things, however, that we fight hard never to compromise. And if we ever do, we are quickly reminded of their importance and why after all these years, they are still relevant. We call it our 3 C’s. These core values are more than just posters on a wall or words on a website. These helped form the DNA of  these businesses and have everything to do with the environment we create internally. We take our time to hire someone at The A Group, so managing them is an easier process. C is for Character Character is a foundation of any success…

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The Next Level: Do You Have the Right Team?

“What do we need to do to get us to the next level?” That’s perhaps the one question I get asked the most.  While the answer might include strategies like  better systems, seizing opportunities, new facilities, retooling business or ministry models, they are all predicated on the most important variable of all: the competence of the team. As I look back in decades of consulting, I can point to the competence of a team as the key element on taking an organization to the next level. Most businesses, churches or not for profits have gotten where they are in the strength of their current team. In my experience, the next level always requires “next-level” thinking and performance. Good leaders realize that and want to move forward. But unless the team has what it takes to run at a difference pace, the organization will not get unstuck. I have sat through…

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Rules for Successful Team Work

My best projects have been a team effort. The coming together of two entities, units, or even individuals bring different sensitivities and perspectives that can make a good project, a great one. As I reflect on my successful as well as failed collaborations, I have come up with a few rules that must be in place before the proverbial “best of both worlds” can come to fruition. The difference between the this-was-great, and the it-was-a-total-disaster outcome is directly dependent on team dynamics and how closely I followed the following rules. Strategic leader. No matter the scope of any collaborative project, it needs to have someone as the keeper of the vision. Who is the champion for the project? Who is going to keep the entire team focused on what’s important and needed? Without strong leadership, projects with multiple stakeholders can move away from its original intent and the entire outcome…

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5 Enemies of a Team

Yesterday I co-chaired the media and entertainment day for the Leadership Brentwood program. We began the morning at the Dave Ramsey headquarters in the Cool Springs area, south of Nashville. Dave leads a thriving business with more than a dozen profit units. He shared with the group his list of the 5 enemies of a healthy team. According to him, if you don’t protect your team against them, your organization will be in trouble. If you want your team to work to its potential, then protect them from: 1. Poor communication. When people don’t know what’s going on they assume the worst. The combination of human nature and old experiences can help derail your team faster than you can say “I have no idea what’s going on here.” Make sure your internal communication is intentional. Don’t assume that everyone knows what’s going on because they don’t. In my experience there’s…

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