Category Archives: Gregg Gregory

Ten Tips for Solid Team Development

By Gregg GregoryGregg Gregory

I have been writing about teamwork for quite some time. I am often amazed at the questions I get about how to structure a team and how the team actually develops. The biggest challenge goes back to something that my father told me when I was in the third grade. He used to always tell me; “You can’t put the roof on the house until the foundation is complete.”

Now as a young boy and my Dad being in real estate I just thought he was talking about building a house. Well quite frankly I thought to myself… DUH. Actually he was talking about everything but real estate. I don’t know when I came to understand what he was teaching me, though I am sure I was well into my 20’s if not older. In life we have to have a foundation just as in construction.

Teamwork is no different yet I am floored by the number of people who fail to meet the first six of these tips. After all they are the foundation. Go back over your life and see if any of your previous teams helped in defining these 10 tips.

1. Purpose: Every team must have a purpose for its existence. Purpose can also be referred to as the vision of the team. If a team has no vision how can you expect the players to hit the target? Simple answer you can’t! Purpose as to why the team exists includes the complete understanding of what role the team plays towards over all goals and vision of the organization.

2. Mission: We have heard so much about the word mission. Many people confuse vision and mission. Vision is about where the team is going and the mission is what they are about. The senior most part of an organization its mission. Why don’t most lower level teams? The simply feel they should just absorb the corporate mission. While the team mission should be congruent with the corporate mission it should reflect the mission of the people on the team.

3. Goals: Do not confuse goals with job or performance standards. Goals are people based where performance standards are position based. Each person should have specific goals as well as a tracking system. Goals are easily modified throughout the year and should be.

4. Objectives: Like goals objectives are people based and objectives are more geared towards the entire team’s objectives. These are the results that the entire team is striving for. Objectives need to be task driven and focused on the end results.

5. Common Values: If you have members who do not share in the common values of each other then the friction will be difficult to overcome.

This goes back to Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great”, and in particular chapter three, “First Who Then What”, getting the right people on the bus, in the right seats and the wrong ones off of the bus.

6. Behavioral Norms: A strong leader sets the expectations in advance and begins to hold members accountable. As the team progresses each member begins to hold everyone else accountable. In the beginning acceptable behavior needs to be established.

7. Job Fit: Understanding one’s natural behavioral tendencies is critical to see if a person will be a good fit in a particular position.

For example my natural DiSC® dominion is a very high D&I. This means that my style would not really be suitable for an accounts payable position because most likely my attention to detail would eventually reveal numerous errors because of repetitive work bores me. It is this stage that most leaders pick up the process. You see this is also where the “job description” comes into play.

8. Maintain Standards: In fact I would suggest that instead of maintaining standards you actually raise the standard. This goes for both the team and the individual on the team. One of the biggest challenges is that many leaders start off with high standards and after a short while they soften up on the standards. They say they are conforming to the needs of the team and easing their leadership style.

As soon as basic standards are eased the team begins a downward spiral that may be too difficult to regain control.

9. Identify and Deal with Conflict: The first part is usually quite easy. The challenge comes with the second part. One of the key reasons leaders fail (leaders does not necessarily mean bosses) is their failure to deal with conflict. Many feel that if they ignore it the conflict will go away. Wrong!

10. Recognize Performance: Performance recognition does not need to begin from the top down. In fact peer recognition is critical to the success of any team. Recognition up down and across every team will increase the overall performance faster than almost anything else.

While every team is a little different, the process is still the same.

Gregg Gregory, of Teams Rock, works with organizations to create a culture where people work together and perform at peak levels. Through his interactive workshops and consulting, Gregg’s clients achieve greater team focus, cooperation, productivity, and impact. His experience includes more than two decades of human resources, real estate, mortgage banking, as well as radio and television broadcasting. Please contact Gregg at 866-764-TEAM or greg@teamsrock.com see how his keynote speeches and breakout training sessions can help your company or organization.

Leaders Play a Major Role for the Employee

By Gregg GregoryGregg Gregory

Think of the best boss you have ever had in your adult work life. Now what are the top three reasons you said this is your best boss? If you are like many you answered with statements like:

  • Lead by example

  • Encouraged everyone

  • Rewarded fairly

  • Held me accountable

  • Empowered me

Now either go see or call this person (do not email) and tell them you just thought of him/her. How do think they will feel when you tell them this? Pretty awesome I would think. These are just a few of the things employees said are important to them. What is interesting is that these are leadership traits and not management traits.

When you take a training class what are you looking to learn? Many of us want to learn ‘the how’ to do the things in our jobs – which translates into managing things. Have you ever given thought to what your team members look for and are they getting what they expect. Leadership from the top down in essence dictates the culture of an organization. If the leadership is empowering then this will breed future leaders that too empower others. On the other hand if the organization is one that keeps a stronghold on everyone then that too will result in breeding future leaders of the same style. Think about it this way. Have you ever noticed how much a child resembles the parent?

Not just in physical appearance either. This includes mannerisms and communication styles. Here are four quick tips on breeding a successful legacy in your organization:

1. Treat everyone fairly – and fairly does not mean equal – it means fairly. This is one of the strongest ways to build a respectful team and a respectful team is generally a trusting team.

2. Lead from a position of integrity – How do you expect to breed others if you are not leading the pack. This goes beyond walking the walk – it means you must live the part you are portraying. This means be consistent between word and deed at all times.

3. Develop the right track for everyone to run on – Have you ever had an employee that shared in the vision but could not perform at his or her position? Get the right person into the right job and do it fast.

4. Show a genuine interest in your team members – Everyone likes to have some attention shown to them. This means that even if you are not the extroverted leader develop the skill set to make sure the employees know you care about them on every level.

If you are lucky you will be like the legendary San Francisco 49er head coach Bill Walsh. When he was asked about his career he said he was proud of his super bowl rings but he was even more proud of the number of head coaches he developed over the years. One day five years from now you could be sitting at home and answer the phone. The voice on the other end says, “Hey boss – I just read an article about best bosses and when I thought about my best boss I thought of you and wanted to just give you a call and tell you how much I appreciated everything you did for me back in 2007.” Imagine that…

Gregg Gregory, of Teams Rock, works with organizations to create a culture where people work together and perform at peak levels. Through his interactive workshops and consulting, Gregg’s clients achieve greater team focus, cooperation, productivity, and impact. His experience includes more than two decades of human resources, real estate, mortgage banking, as well as radio and television broadcasting. Please contact Gregg at 866-764-TEAM or greg@teamsrock.com see how his keynote speeches and breakout training sessions can help your company or organization.

Out With The Old And In With The New

By Gregg GregoryGregg Gregory

One of the great things I like about college sports is the true teamwork. What is interesting is that with more and more players turning professional early and not completing their four years of college, recruiting and keeping the team focused on the mission has become a real challenge for coaches and athletic directors.

It is a fact – team members change – sometimes they leave of their own accord and sometimes we offer what I like to call ‘career re-direction advice’. Regardless, team members change, and the trick becomes to integrate new members into an existing team successfully?

Let’s look at this from both the perspective of the new employee and how he or she can acclimate themselves into the team, and then how we can help acclimate the new employee into our team.

First, if you have been traded to a new team (excuse the sports metaphor here) what should you do to feel like you are part of the team quickly? We have all been there – started a new job or position and not known anyone on the team. Here are a few tips and tricks you can employ if indeed you find yourself in this position.

Take the initiative to meet everyone on the team. Getting to know your new teammates can be fun and when you learn something about them, and get them to talk about themselves; you have made deposits into their emotional bank account. Everyone likes to talk about themselves and when you talk casually you can ask questions. Now, the true secret is to bank this information. Don’t retain this so you can manipulate them at a later date – instead retain this information and use it to build trust and alliances.

Learn as much as you can about the organization as possible. If this is a new company for you, then you likely did some online research before the first interview. Take this several steps further. Know the big picture about the organization. Having knowledge about the organization is a critical tool in any employee’s tool belt and when you take the time to know this information early on you are demonstrating your ability to work with everyone.

Take the time to get to know the team as a whole. Find out about previous successes they have had and yes – find out some of the failures. Learn what the goals and objectives are for the future. The more you know, the greater asset you can be to them.

Know the expectations up front. Many organizations are weak at sharing very specific expectations up front. This is critical for you as you want to make sure you are on track or ahead of schedule. This will show your new team mates that you are pulling your own weight and this also builds trust among your peers.

Help new hires: Now, as my company grows and we bring on new team members, what can we do to get the new members up to speed quickly and get them to feel more comfortable and avoid ‘The Lone Ranger Syndrome’?

  • Make sure their work area, looks, feels, and is fresh. There is nothing like coming into a new place and feeling like it is a fresh start for you only to find a desk that has not been cleaned out, with condiment packages in the drawers and a phone that looks and smells horrible.

  • If possible, get the new teammate his/her computer password so he can at least get online the first day. Of course it can be changed later – this shows that you care about getting your new-hires up to speed.

  • Assign the new-hire a mentor to help acclimate them to the surroundings, people, and the way you do things. You may also want to provide them a mentor as it relates specifically to the job function they will be doing. Having two mentors accomplishes a couple of things – they meet more people more quickly, and it helps the existing staff assume some of the leader roles on the team and makes them feel better about working there.

  • If the position allows, you may want the new-hire to work with different people on the team to learn the different styles and methods of accomplishing work tasks.

Remember, it is about making sure that everyone knows, trusts, and respects each other. While you will not likely get everyone to ‘like’ everyone else – it is critical that they trust each other in order to accomplish the mission, vision, and values of the team, division, and organization.

Gregg Gregory, of Teams Rock, works with organizations to create a culture where people work together and perform at peak levels. Through his interactive workshops and consulting, Gregg’s clients achieve greater team focus, cooperation, productivity, and impact. His experience includes more than two decades of human resources, real estate, mortgage banking, as well as radio and television broadcasting. Please contact Gregg at 866-764-TEAM or greg@teamsrock.com see how his keynote speeches and breakout training sessions can help your company or organization.