Has this ever happened to you? Your team hits a wall. Instead of growing your team is going backwards. This was me in my mid twenties. It felt like no matter how hard I tried or what I tried my team and results wouldn’t grow. I worked countless hours. The more I tried the more I felt like I was spinning plates.
Then I learned a secret to creating a team and growth.
Just when I was about to come to the end of my rope, I was told this…Serve them and care for them. The reason why you aren’t growing is because you are trying to do it all by yourself. You are only one person. You have to find others that will buy into your vision and care enough about it as you. In order to do this you have to create a culture where your people know that you care for them. This feeling of caring is not a goal either. It’s a process through constant caring and serving. When you serve and care for others it creates a GLUE that bonds you to them and them to you. How do you create that glue? Find out what your people want and then help them get it!
I also told my mentor that I wanted to be a leader. This is where the idea of serving and creating a team really came together. He told me, you can be Mr. Manager, however in order to be a true leader, your followers must choose you as their leader. So… you have to SERVE THEM and keep in mind you aren’t serving them, giving and investing your time in them to get only what you want. You serve them to give and add value to them.
At first when I was told this it really didn’t make sense to me and I am embarrassed to say that my thought process before this was simply to replace the people who weren’t performing with people who would perform. Don’t get me wrong if someone isn’t willing to get on the train with you its okay to bring someone on board who is willing to get on the train.
So I made a choice to make it about them vs. me and in a matter of just 90 days, guess, what happened?
A valuable lesson was learned. As Zig Ziglar said, help people get what they want and you can have the world. It’s true. A simple shift in my thinking we doubled in sales!
I couldn’t believe it at first. Can simply serving them make this much of a difference? Yes, it can. I must tell you though, there were numerous times I didn’t want to serve because it was inconvenient to me. For example, I scheduled joint sales calls and their appointments cancelled. I so wanted to say, “Ok, well you work on setting some new appointments and when you have those appointments booked I will be there.” You know what happened when I chose to show up vs. cancelling on them, the glue, it was these moments friendship and loyalty was created. It was these moments’ people choose me as their leader. As they say people who feel good about their work and those they work with produce good results.
As a leader we all have disappointments, the same is true for people who choose to follow us. However, the glue is formed not only when things are going good, but when crap hits the fan. It when the sky is falling down and your actions say I care about you and I am willing to serve you even when things aren’t going well. Why? What may seem bad at this very moment will eventually pass and besides it’s usually not as bad as it seems.
Here is a challenge to create the glue that builds a top performing team.
- Serve them– It’s our duty as leaders to find ways to serve our teammates. What ways can you better serve your team? When is the last time you asked is, is there anything else I can do to assist you in achieving your goals vs asking what have you done for me?
- Bring out the best in them– What are you doing to build on their strengths? How are you equipping and empowering them to be a better them?
- Truly listen- Everyone is motivated in different ways. Some people like incentives, others like being recognized, and some want to spend quality time with you as their leader. What motivates your team to achieve and attain higher levels of success? Ask them.
- Vision– What is there vision? How are you communicating your vision? Have you shared with your team how their contributions affect the vision?
When you want the best for someone, you are patient, you are encouraging, you equip, and you serve them. The best way to do this is help them discover the value that they themselves possess.
Equipping, Educating, Empowering, and encouraging others to become better leaders!