Competitive rowing requires a strong team and a competent coxswain to lead and steer things in the right direction.
Building a successful business is the same.
A challenge that faces both small and large companies is that the revenue generators are often strong Alpha personality types. How do you make sure everyone is “rowing” together? You must make time for team building and set a culture of working together.
We meet every four to six weeks. Our goal is to first be accountable to one another as to what has been done to move us forward. The second objective is to ask ourselves what can be done better and where can we help each other.
Following a recent meeting, I reflected on the value these meetings add to our firm.
- A focus on the future: We are always focused on what impact can we have in the future. We do not want to stumble or be hung up by something in the past.
- Respect for perspectives: Learning each other’s world not only gives us an appreciation of their talents, it lets us be aware of areas we may be able to share insights. Being emotionally detached from a circumstance helps us offer an alternate view than one from the middle of the swamp. Being truthful builds trust.
- Differing opinions: This is one of my favorites. Blending differing personalities with unique life experiences brings out the best in all of us. It is like eating a spicy meal – it might be a little uncomfortable or even painful, but it tastes better than a bland one where there’s no taste at all. When you get that mix of respect and differing opinions, it really is positive. Our differences adds another dimension to us. We are blessed to have all of us in the room together.
- Energy: Walking out of the meeting, there is a positive energy that is infectious. Building on relationships, each of us is stronger from the gathering. In Newton’s law of inertia, a body in motion tends to stay in motion at the same velocity unless some resistance or change is applied. Leaving a meeting pumped up will move you forward to make the next sale or finish that lingering project. This is the flip side of the idea that a body at rest tends to stay at rest, the usual understanding of inertia or being sluggish. I like the more positive side of building off the energy of others.
- Stewardship: Visioning and accountability are the responsible things to do. Fostering an ownership mentality in each employee and helping them make decisions as if it were their own money fosters good decision-making throughout the organization.
- Establishing respect for time: We try to keep our meeting time to a minimum. We meet just long enough to exchange ideas and plans without rambling on. We use an agenda to map out the time and what we plan to cover. If we start down a rabbit trail, we decide if that is worthy of going off the agenda or whether to table it for a future meeting. We want everyone to feel that their time is well spent when we gather.
- A sense of purpose: As one participant said “You cannot cross the lake in one big jump.” There is a deliberateness to all our actions. We do understand the consequence of our decisions. Memory brings us back to previous poor decisions and our spirit is uplifted when we get it right.
We wish for you that in all your experiences you can debrief with the same type of descriptive words. Go forth and exchange ideas with one another. Prosper.
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