The title of this post is one powerful word isn't it? Respect. Everyone wants it, but so often we don't give it. As a leader in my organization I often speak to my associates about leadership. I've always believed everything either rises or falls with the leadership. After all, the leadership is responsible are they not for the results of the organization. Sure I understand that the leader can't do it all, so he or she has to depend on those they supervise to get the job done. But let's face it. As a leader we are only as successful as those we supervise. If our people are not successful then we are not successful either. We as leaders need our associates to be able to achieve results. We must work as a team, we must work together, or we'll fail to succeed.
I wanted to take the opportunity to challenge you to look at your place of employment and see where you stand in your own team. I like to think of my business, well like a sports team. You can choose to be a football, soccer, basketball, or even a baseball team. It doesn't matter... the principles are the same.
Before I start let me share with you some main concerns that most employees have in their organization. These are three main fears or concerns of most employee's.
- They don't feel they get recognized for their accomplishments or the work they do.
- They don't see strong evidence of effective leadership from their Leaders / Managers.
- They have concerns about their future and career.
Any and every business needs customers to survive. Without customers, the business dies. That's just how it is. Every business needs leaders and it needs workers to achieve the desired results that the business needs to survive. So we see three elements of every business don't we? Managers or leaders, workers and fellow associates, and customers. Now let's take a look at this team model I want to show you.
Every Leader is a coach. A coach for the team. Most organizations have a head coach (CEO, Manager, etc) But there are also several layers of coaches as well just like on a football team. We have special teams coaches and offensive coaches and defensive coaches etc. In most organizations there called managers or asst managers or dept mgrs etc. But they are the coaches for the team, the unit, the organization. Think about the role of a coach for a minute. Do they run out onto the field and make the plays? No, they observe the field or the court and they call in the plays as they see things pop up that affect the strategy of the game. They have a game plan and they follow it, but they also react and change their game plan if the rival team (the competitor) changes their strategy. Coaches change their strategy when they realize that what they are doing is not achieving the results they want to see on the scoreboard (P&L, profit loss statement.) Coaches also appreciate and pat their team players on the back when they perform well on the field, but they also hold them accountable to perform their expected roles on the team. But in the end... the team will win or lose depending on how well the coaches and the players have worked together to achieve the results. They celebrate together if they win and they suffer together if they lose. Coaches without players can not win! Players without coaches can not win! So you see we need each other to WIN! To be successful. It's that simple. And whether you are a coach or a player... you are both very valuable to the team and it's results or performance. What we need to be asking ourselves is this... whether I'm a player or a coach, am I doing all that I can to help this team win? Or am I causing this team to stumble? We have to be honest with ourselves. We must understand that it's very difficult for me to change someone elses behavior, but I can always change my own... always. So I ask... What are you doing to make your team the best that it can be?
It's about respect for each other, it's about realizing that no matter what your position within the team, everyone is a key player, everyone has a role and a job to do. It's about caring for each other and it's about helping people feel good about themselves while at work. It's about having a strong work ethic and doing our best... always. If we focus on RESPECTING each other, then we'll see the team performing better than it ever has. We'll all be striving to perform better and become better in our positions and this will affect our customer service as a result.
Remember every team has a coach or coaches, and every team has players that execute the plays or plans. But the team does not exist without the fans. If we don't have fans, well then we can't afford the expenses of operating the team. We can't afford to pay the coaches or the players for the jobs they do. The fans bring in revenue! Our fans, (our customers) come and participate in the game when we play well. Customers love a winning team! Our customers won't come to the game if we don't play well, if were always losing. Our fans will quit coming and they will go to another game in town (your competitor). We must win, because without fans, there's no need for a team anymore.
I hope we all realize that it's not about Management, it's not about the workers, it's all about the customer. The customer always responds to our performance. We must work together to achieve the results that will exceed our customers expectations. We must play well together and we must realize that we need every player and every coach to succeed. We must play to win!
RESPECT... treat each other with respect... always, and see what can happen within your very own organization. We all play a part in our own success. But to be successful alone is very rare indeed. This whole conversation reminds me of Christ's Church. We must be respectful with each other and we must realize our roles and place in Christ's church, His body. For Christ's church to be what He intends for it to be, we must work together, not against each other. We are after all on His team. we are... CHRISTIANS. Are we doing all we can for the team, or are we a stumbling block for our brother?