Philie Group Blog

Be the Best at What You Do
By Mike Philie

Being the best at what you do, and doing it every day is hard work. As a leader, what are some things that you can do to help bring out the best in your people? Start by looking at what they might be looking for at work.

It may not be only the paycheck or the fact that they should be “lucky to have a job.”

Simon Sinek says to hire right — if you hire those who believe in what you believe, that they’ll give you their blood, sweat, and tears. If they don’t believe in what you believe, then they’ll work for the money. Most companies have a range of staff that falls between those two ends of the spectrum. Close the gap and help them to be their best.

Engage Your Team

People want to feel part of something that is bigger and better than what they could have alone.

They are looking for an engaged, compassionate manager—not one that has been checked out for the last few years.

They want to have a sense of purpose in what they do.

They want to learn and to collaborate—you may also have some lifelong in your group?

How can you get feedback from your team? You could use a survey or face to face interactions. How many companies do surveys? There are many software application options available to take the pulse within your company. And while surveys and software are becoming more popular, there is nothing like walking up to someone and sincerely, authentically, asking, “how are you, how’s your family?” You can also offer to have voluntary 1:1 meetings with you or members of your leadership team.

Build A Buddy System

Hire smart. Make sure your new people fit within the team and use your onboarding process to increase their odds of success in their new role and new company. Offer new employees a mentor, or a buddy for a period of time. This is similar to what some sports teams do with rookies.

Lead And Set Expectations

One of your roles as the leader, or if you’re on the leadership team, is to help people achieve things that they couldn’t have achieved anywhere else. If you believe in that, it’s important to know what their passion is and how you can steer that into an exciting opportunity both for them and the business.

Set expectations, make sure that everyone knows what the plays are.

Give feedback, let them know how are they doing, and what should or could they be working on to be a better team member. What do they think they should be working on and what do they think they need in order to do a better job?

Fun And Insight Go Hand And Hand

Make it as fun as you can. That’ll mean different things for different people and companies, but find out how you can still do “the work,” and have fun doing it. If your employees are not smiling once in a while, how will they ever make your customers smile?

The industry continues to apply technology to drive out unnecessary touches and costs that clients don’t see and seldom value.

Take this opportunity to re-deploy your talented problems solvers away from those repetitive tasks and on to things that will change the customer experience. Add value in such a way that your customers won’t ever want to leave.

Provide insight—what do the customers do with the products that you make for them? Give your team a better sense of their contribution. Help them to understand how they contribute to your customers success—beyond the finished product. Find a way to let your folks see or hear about what’s going on with your customers, with your company, and within the industry. Set the stage for what’s happening outside of your four walls and share your vision and your plan for how you’ll use that as an advantage to make your business excel.

It Starts At The Top

Most leaders talk about the strength of their people, but make sure that you’re doing something in a positive way to nurture, and grow that asset.

It starts at the top, the vision, the culture, the name on the front of the jersey. You get to decide on how to leverage this great asset, and the good news is that you can start today!

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, LinkedIn or email at


Originally published in Printing Impressions


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