Your Business is One Team, with One Jersey

This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.

 

Some are on offense, some are on defense, and some are on special teams. Heck, some are on the practice squad and may never see the opposing team or ever make a road game. But you know what they have in common? They all wear the same jerseys, they play for the same team.

 

Coaching those teams can be a challenge. The personalities and the egos sometimes rise well above the true capabilities of the player, and can dwarf the single most important reason they are assembled together. That is, to play together in such a way as to prevail over the opposing team. Now, you’re not trying to stomp out a competitor or beat up on your customer. But you are trying to win every day.

What’s a Win?

 

Is earning profit a win or is profit the outcome of doing all the little things right? Focusing on doing the right things – everyday, will lead you to wins (and profit). Let’s review a couple of these little things. How about self-improvement – what are you doing today, or this week, or month, to make yourself or your team better? Or perhaps it’s being easy to work with. You recognize that you can be both a customer and a supplier in the company that you work at and depending on what step of your process you’re at, you may be selling or you may be buying with your co-workers and peers. Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “am I easy to do business with.” Better yet, ask your co-workers and the customers that you come in contact with. Ask them, really, it won’t hurt. I think that this approach could have a positive impact on the sales, customer service, and estimating functions at most companies. Getting these three groups on the same page is a vital part of your ultimate client success, and wins. Might be a good place to start this.

No Gliding

 

When I coached ice hockey, I was a stickler for no-gliding. If you were going out on your shift, you needed to skate hard for the entire shift-no gliding. That’s one of the reasons the shifts are so short – skate hard for a minute and then get off the ice. In the business world, the boss can’t always “see” whether or not you’re working hard. In sales, call reports generally aren’t close to what’s really going on. CRM’s with deal pipelines can be a better alternative. And good data collection on the shop floor is a must if you want to be a leader. But in the end, a common thread I see is that if you have the right folks in the right jobs, they already know that they shouldn’t glide on the job as they are the ones that typically don’t glide through life either. Action item – make sure that you have the right folks wearing your jerseys.

Set the Expectations

 

You’ve heard me say before that you get what you tolerate. Take a hard look at the expectations that have been developed, reviewed, and spelled out to the team. The last point is important – make sure that all their heads are nodding yes when you ask if they understand completely what is expected. Even with that you may encounter a few heartaches, but at least you’ve made the attempt and now you can focus on the outliers and either fix the situation, find that person a different role to play, or finally, maybe determine that they need to be on a different team.

 

Strategy, planning, and working on your business still rules the successful businesses of today. Reviewing the strategy for your team and how well they all play together is crucial today. Today’s market and helping your staff deliver a consistent message to your customers is your next major hurdle to sustainable, profitable growth and continuing to be a top-performing company. The good news is that you can start today, and let me know how you’re doing.

 

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at mphilie@philiegroup.com.

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