Skip to main content

The Team You Build


Do you love your team? I've been so blessed and lucky in my life to have been part of some truly outstanding teams filled with people who challenged me, supported me, and made my life (and work) better. I have loved the people on those teams and many years after working with the people on those teams I still think of them fondly almost every day.

The team pictured here was one of my early teams at the Ryan Insurance Group. The talent on that team, and on other teams, astounded me every day. We had our struggles, but they were hard working, brilliant people and I miss every one of them.

There have been other great teams of course. Today I think about this group and what it grew into as we expanded, improved, and grew as people and as a business. I was not a perfect boss, and I'm sure I sparked more than a little frustration now and then, but they patiently dedicated themselves to achieving the goals of the team.

I'm proud of that team.

I invite you today to reflect on your current work team. What thoughts do you have about where each person is headed? How dedicated are you to helping each team member in developing their career AND their well-being? There are no perfect leaders or teams. Our task is not perfection even while our journey is on that road toward perfection, toward improvement, toward fulfillment, toward service.

Who is your team to you?

The team you build reflects you.

Build a better team than you ever thought you could. Because, you can.

-- doug smith


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Be Amazing

Circumstances influence how we act. While we all do have limitations, we can all also exceed and overcome many of those limitations. To be honest, we can all be amazing when we need to be. Whatever is going on, that capacity, that ability awaits. Push that button. Ignite that fire. Step on the gas. We can be amazing when we don't have any other choice. Remove the other choices because they are not for you. Instead: be amazing! -- doug smith    

Courage to Speak

There have been times when I wanted to say something because I thought that it was important and yet didn't say it. I learned that avoiding a difficult conversation usually leads to even more difficulties. Keeping a problem to yourself is not a great strategy. The words won't be perfect. We might sweat when we say them. Disagreement could rise. That's fine. If it is important to you, say it. Sometimes it's less about what you say and more about your willingness to say it. If it takes courage to speak, you should probably speak. -- doug smith  

Word Power

If you've ever had a boss say something mean to you, it's likely that you still remember it vividly. You probably won't ever forget it. Leaders do need to provide feedback and much of that feedback may be constructive -- coaching involves helping others improve their skills in order to achieve their goals -- but that constructive feedback can, and should, be delivered in a positive, dignified way. Not mean. Not nasty. Not insulting. Words meant to hurt are better left unsaid. -- doug smith

Those Annoying Opportunities

Sometimes people can get on your nerves. Interrupting, ignoring, disagreeing, even laughing at the wrong time can feel like an intended insult. Taking that kind of interaction as an insult, though, will not improve the quality of the interaction.  I like to think of the people who drive me crazy as the people who spark more learning.  It might not be the lesson they want to teach me that I learn, but there is certainly something there worth learning. If we missed all learning that wasn't fun we'd miss a whole lot of learning.  Those annoying learning opportunities are sometimes exactly what we need. -- doug smith ]

Talk About It Because...

You can't fix everything by talking about it but you can't fix anything unless you do. Talk about it. Sometimes it will seem rough. There may be deep feelings involved. The words may come slowly. Maybe even the wrong words will come. It is a challenge. Talk about it anyway. What unresolved issue do you need to talk about?  -- doug smith

Trust the Truth

It's hard to escape it: there are lies everywhere. Behind every lie is a liar, someone who knows that they are deceiving people. The lies might be obvious. They might even rationalize the lies into harmless ways around the truth.  There is no way around the truth. The only way to the truth is telling the truth. It's tempting to rationalize our own reactions to lies. After all, they lied first so what's the harm in twisting the truth just a little for a good cause. No. You can't stop a liar from lying, but you don't have to play a liar's game. High performance leaders with integrity tell the truth. -- doug smith

Test True

How often is your truth tested? How often do people check to make sure that everything you've communicated to them is true? When it comes to your team, the answer is every day. High performance leaders can not stand to slip and deceive anyone on the team because it is sure to be caught. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe some time down the road, but it will surely be caught and when it is, the team becomes a bit less effective Every day your truth is tested so you might as well make it true. If you're going to be tested, you might as well test true.  -- doug smith  

Why We Need Another Opinion

Do you remember your last wrong decision? It probably felt right at the time. Surely, the logic that you used was precise and strong. But, still it didn't turn out the way that you'd prefer. Leaders benefit from multiple opinions and varied views. We can get so locked into a decision that we forget to truly test it. Are we getting carried away? Have we forgotten about hidden bias? Is it just too emotional a reaction to the situation? The trouble with a gut reaction is that it often eventually makes you sick. Instincts often stink. We need reminders, we need calibrators, we need alternatives. Our own memories are so flawed that they are hardly trustworthy. Test those assumptions, validate those memories, get the help that you need. -- doug smith

Respect and Kindness

Communicating effectively includes talking about the tough stuff. We might even appear confrontational when we oppose with strength and courage. We can disagree and keep talking. As long as we listen and keep an open mind, we can influence best when we are open to being influenced. Part of that is speaking, and listening, with respect and kindness. Creating, and preserving a sense of dignity.  When we cana talk about it with respect and kindness we can talk about anything. Seems like a good place to start. -- doug smith  

Appreciate Your Team

While we are each different, we all share many things in common. One thing your team members do share in common is the need to be appreciated. No one wants to feel taken for granted. It doesn't cost a thing to say "thank you" once in a while and it adds so much positivity that we should probably do it more often. We all want to be recognized and appreciated. As leaders, we are in a position to do more of that, so why not start today? -- doug smith P.S. Thanks for reading this!