Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bring The Team Together

The IMF Team began every mission by meeting together. At the end of each mission, they always left together.  There is a very important reason why this happened.  No matter how good we each are, we cannot get the job done alone.  We need help from others and we, in turn, must let the others on our Team understand that we are there to help them whenever they need it. 

This goes back to the old saying, “We will either win together or we will lose together.”

Imagine if the IMF team came back from a failed mission and Mr. Phelps had said, “Well, MY part of the mission went well.  In fact, I think if you look back at my performance, you’ll see that I did not make any mistakes whatsoever.  Barney might have screwed up… or Cinnamon… or Willie… If anyone failed, it was one of them, not me… so I guess you can just put this down as a win in MY dossier, Mr. Secretary.”

It is imperative to understand that success will only come when we act as a proper TEAM.  At my company, Daphne Utilities, we constantly say, “We’re One Utility…not a bunch of people who coincidentally have the same logo on our shirts.”

If you are not actively working to bring your Team together… If your Team is fractured…

If your Team is not focused first and foremost on helping the entire Team to win together…

…then you and your Team are planning to fail.  Period. 

ACTION: What are you doing to bring your team together?

NEXT POST: What key activity should happen when you are bringing your Team together?


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pick Your Team For Skills

One of the most famous scenes from the Mission Impossible TV show was Mr. Phelps scanning through dossiers as he put together just the right team.  For the mission to be successful, Mr. Phelps knew that he needed specific kinds of people with specific skills to do specific tasks. 

This seems obvious, right?   If the mission required someone to carry a 300 pound suitcase through a building without it looking heavy, then Willy Armitage was the person selected because he was the strongest man alive.  It didn’t matter if supermodel Cinnamon Carter had worked for the agency longer or had great acting skills, she would not possess the key strength needed to get the job done.

If the mission required an electronics expert, then Barney Collier was the person selected because he was a brilliant electronics engineer.  It would not have mattered if Rollin Hand, the Master of Disguise, had more seniority… or could imitate any voice… or was an escape artist.  He did not have the key skills needed to get the job done. 

How are YOUR team selections made at your company?  Are you looking at the skills needed? Or are you simply looking at rather meaningless things like seniority?  For instance, if you need to hire a manager or supervisor, the skills you need to look for are the ability to lead and manage people, to bring people together and effectively represent the company to their team.  Seniority alone does not address these key traits that are vital to mission success. It may be less troublesome for you take the easy way out and promote the person who has worked at the company the longest (so that they don’t file a grievance because they were clearly in line to get that job) but it does NOT get the job done. 

No one said Jim Phelps job was easy.  No one said your job as a company manager was an easy one either.  But if we are going to do our job properly and accomplish our mission, we need to do it right…and promoting people without the skills to do the job is NOT how we successfully complete our mission. 

ACTION:  Select ONLY for skills and stand behind your decision.