Tag Archives | Results

The “AM” in TEAM

You’ve seen the poster that states “there is no ‘I’ in TEAM.” That statement promotes the absence of individuals on effective teams.

That’s a crock. Every team has individuals. When those individuals align to the team’s purpose, values, behaviors, strategies, and goals, you have a shot at that team being productive and inspiring to serve upon.

When those individuals don’t align to the team’s purpose, values, goals, etc., you have a shot at being one of the world’s worst teams.

We need to look at the “AM” in TEAM. What do I mean by that?

I mean that individual behaviors of team members are critically important. Every individual team member acts the way they think they should, daily. If some act in self serving ways, they do so because they think that’s the way they should act. Their self-serving behaviors are probably being reinforced daily – by being rewarded, by being tolerated, etc.

If some act in cooperative, aligned ways, they do so because they think that’s the way they should act. Their serving-the-team behaviors are probably being reinforced daily.

The “AM” in TEAM means that individual team members need to look at their own behaviors – their individual plans, decisions, and actions – as team members. They need to ask themselves, “How AM I behaving as a team member today?”

If individual team members answer this question honestly, they may discover “I AM protective. I don’t share information or my mistakes with team members.”

Or “I AM indirect. I don’t clarify exactly what I need from my team mates, so they frequently don’t give me what I need.”

Or “I AM clique-ish. I support my two friends on the team and withhold support from team members who aren’t my friends.”

Or “I AM critical. I frequently and loudly point out other team members’ mistakes and short-comings.”

An aligned individual team member, answering this question honestly, may discover “I AM supportive. I praise others efforts and accomplishments promptly.”

Or “I AM involved. I coordinate efforts with team members so we’re all in sync with our projects, deadlines, and customers.”

Or “I AM connected. I make it a point to learn about my colleagues outside interests – be it their kids, running, snowboarding, football, whatever – and engage with them about their interests regularly.”

Or “I AM kind. I smile when I see teammates. I say ‘Hello.’ I wish others well, regularly.”

This powerful question – “How AM I behaving as a team member today?” – can help individuals understand the degree of their cooperative interaction across their team. Once they understand how cooperative they are (or aren’t), they can shift their behaviors to be more aligned, more cooperative, more of service to their team.

Effective teams don’t happen by default, they happen by design. Leaders must engage team members to examine their behaviors to ensure everyone is productive and aligned while being treated daily with trust, respect, and dignity.

And – leaders can be proactive by crafting an organizational constitution for their team, and ensure everyone aligned their behaviors to it.

How would you answer the “AM” question? What aligned team member behaviors were demonstrated in your “best ever” team? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Kzenon – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2016 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Validate your beliefs

Sunrise over the ocean in Miami Beach, Florida.“The sun will rise tomorrow.” If you believe that, you might plan for activities that are best done in the light of day.

Why might you believe that? It’s likely because the reality of sunrise and sunset in your past experience allows you to predict the sun rising tomorrow.

Now, you might have fewer sunlight hours if you lived in Reykjavik, Iceland, than if you lived in Tucson, Arizona. But, the sun would rise.

If stormy weather is happening in your neighborhood, you might not have as bright a sunshine as on a clear day. But the sun would rise, above the clouds.

Yet some people hold beliefs that are not supported by the reality around them. The facts don’t support their beliefs. Their beliefs lead them to behave in ways that don’t serve them well in the long run.

Our beliefs are powerful drivers in our lives. Beliefs cause us to behave in ways that are consistent with those beliefs, even if our behavior doesn’t result in desired outcomes over time.

For example, I’ve been a business traveler for over 25 years. For many of those years, one of my beliefs was “I work hard. I love food. I can eat anything I want to while on the road.” If you observed my behaviors, you’d have seen me order cheeseburgers, fries, ice cream, fried chicken, and more.

Then my doctor would say, “You’re too heavy and too fat. You’re killing yourself.” She was right. I’d start exercising more or eating more healthy foods. Then my beliefs would take over and I’d eat unhealthy foods and gain weight.

I had to change my belief since it clearly wasn’t working for me. My belief over the past six years has been “I work hard. I love food. I can eat anything that fuels my best self while on the road.” I eat lean proteins and vegetables. I eat very little dairy, nothing fried, and nothing “white” (flours and starches).

I’ve lost 25 pounds and kept it off. I wear clothes sizes that I’ve been unable to fit in since college. I’ve had to get belts, rings, watches, etc. resized smaller. I feel great. My blood panels are better than they’ve been in decades.

My clients have beliefs that they align to every day. Some of their beliefs and resulting behaviors serve them very well. Some do not.

Specifically, most business leaders believe that their job is to manage processes and results. So, that’s what they do. They spend all of their time on results and little time – if any – on the quality of their work environment and organizational culture.

Yet culture drives everything that happens in their organization, good or bad.

An unhealthy culture causes people to treat others rudely. People behave in ways that serve themselves, not others. They withhold information. They bully others.

My first step with any client is to educate leaders so they understand the impact of culture on business success as well as their primary responsibility to create a healthy workplace culture.

I have to help those leaders validate their beliefs – and to change their beliefs if their behaviors don’t work well. I coach leaders to believe it is their job to build a high performing, values-aligned culture daily.

So, this year, validate your beliefs. Find indisputable facts about your reality. For my food belief, I embraced the body mass index metric. For leaders, measure engagement and service as well as results.

Change your beliefs when it’s clear that your behaviors do not serve you – or others – well.

Every day.

How are your beliefs working out for you? Do your beliefs serve others as well as they serve yourself? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © avmedved – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2015 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


Don’t miss any of Chris’ posts, podcasts, or updates – Subscribe Now!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Your leadership team’s true purpose

Tired business people.What is your team or department or company leadership team’s core “reason for being”?

If your leadership team is typical, the focus is on results and profits. Their only “reason for being” is to deliver expected performance.

There are very good reasons for that singular focus. In most companies, the only thing that is measured, monitored, and rewarded daily are results and profits. Leaders are recognized and valued (and paid) based upon their ability to deliver expected results.

Those leaders have never been asked to do anything different. Their role models – leaders they served under in the past – focused exclusively on results and profits.

It’s all they know.

However, there are undesirable logical consequences when leaders exclusively focus on results and profits. The biggest consequence is that team leaders and team members deliver those results in any way they can – including ways that serve themselves (and inhibit others’ performance), that bend rules, that are unethical, and worse. Those behaviors erode trust, respect, and dignity of your fellow employees. “I win, you lose” is the mantra.

We’ve all seen it.

The reality is that an “I win, you lose” philosophy actually limits team and department and company results! Performance is capped when team leaders and team members choose to not cooperate, share information, or enable others’ successes.

Now, there is nothing wrong with results and profits. What sucks is when the work environment is so competitive that people have to battle their peers to “win.” That boosts anxiety and stress and reduces well being and cooperation.

There is a better way. I can prove it.

When leadership teams craft a present day purpose that focuses on service to others – along with desired values and behaviors, strategies, and goals – performance goes up, by 35 percent. Engagement and service to up, by 40 percent – all within 18 months of refining their culture with an organizational constitution.

Those are impressive numbers – but getting leadership teams to evolve past their “old ways” is challenging.

A leadership team’s core purpose statement – their true, present day “reason for being” – answers three questions:

  • What does this team do?
  • For whom? Who are this team’s primary customers?
  • To what end? What is the desired outcome of these efforts beyond delivering results or making money?

Why is “to what end” important? Because most team leaders and team members do not enjoy any significant benefit if the organization makes more widgets or generates greater profits. Their take home pay doesn’t jump.

What humans crave is purpose and meaning. They want to know how their work makes their communities better, improves people’s lives, or even reduces environmental impact. When employees understand their beneficial impact on others, their engagement goes up. They serve others more effectively. Their commitment to the company goes up.

The “to what end” question is critically important. Most leadership teams I work with struggle with an answer to it. They are afraid if they don’t focus on results, those results will go away.

The exact opposite is true.

So what is an effective leadership team purpose statement? One of my client’s crafted a terrific, service oriented purpose statement for their leadership team:

“Drive results and service through engagement and respect.”

This statement honors the leadership team’s need to ensure team members deliver results and customer service while it clarifies what their leadership team must deliver first: employee engagement and respect.

Leaders, don’t focus exclusively on results. Your leadership team is responsible for creating a work environment based on trust, respect, and dignity, which then inspires team members to deliver great results and service.

Does your leadership team proactively create a safe, inspiring work environment? How does your leadership team foster trust, respect, and dignity of all team members? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © gstockstudio – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2015 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


Don’t miss any of Chris’ posts, podcasts, or updates – Subscribe Now!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Service Creates Significance

painting a doorIs your workplace dull and frustrating or productive and inspiring?

Most organizational cultures are not inspiring environments to live in or work in. Tiny HR’s 2015 Engagement and Culture Report found that 31 percent of employees feel strongly valued at work. That’s better than the 21 percent that felt strongly valued in their 2014 report.

And, it means that nearly 70 percent of employees don’t feel strongly valued at work. That’s awful.

How likely are employees to stay with their current company? This report asked respondents, “Would you leave your current job if another company offered you a 10% raise?” 25% of respondents said YES. That’s a strong indicator that employees are not satisfied with their jobs.

This report then asked respondents what gets in the way of productivity at work. 35 percent said that the biggest issue at work is their co-workers’ lack of productivity and follow through. That means leaders do not hold every team member accountable for performance. That unfairness erodes work satisfaction and contribution across the team.

When Tiny HR looked at factors with the highest positive impact on employee happiness, those with the strongest correlation – the greatest positive impact – were work environment and organizational culture!

Leaders can boost the quality of their work environment and the health of their organizational culture by making values as important as performance. By implementing my proven framework – an organizational constitution – leaders ensure their work environment treats everyone with trust, respect, and dignity.

This approach works! Engagement goes up, customer service goes up, and results and profits go up – all by 35-40 percent and more within 18 months of aligning practices to your organizational constitution.

One of the biggest benefits of implementing an organizational constitution is the clarity your team enjoys when they define their team or department or company’s present day purpose. If you ask employees in your organization today what the company’s purpose is, you’ll get answers like making money or selling widgets or processing loans or the whatever your company produces.

The problem is that making money or selling widgets isn’t naturally motivating for most team members. Sure, they want your organization to stay in business, but making money doesn’t create positive personal meaning for employees.

Serving others – as part of an organization that engages in serving others – does create positive personal meaning.

How does your team’s purpose emphasize service? It answers three questions: What does your team do? For whom does it do it? And, to what end – what benefits do your customers gain from your team’s products or services?

In essence, an effective purpose statement describes how your team’s products and services make others’ lives better.

When you shift team leader and team member thinking from “just making money” to “serving our customers,” employees are much more likely to care about the quality of their work and about the quality of their work relationships.

Service can boost employee well-being. Gallup’s 2014 Well Being Index found that adults that received recognition for community service averaged 70 points (out of 100) on the Well Being Index. Adults that did not receive recognition for community service averaged 58 points on the index.

Service to your community means many things. It includes things like generating profits so each employee can make a $300 grant to their favorite charity each year . . . Or volunteering, as a team, to serve holiday meals to the homeless . . . Or helping with a Habitats for Humanity group building a home . . . Or collecting food items or toys for the needy.

When your team’s purpose focuses on service to others, it creates deep personal meaning for employees. Work isn’t just a job – it becomes a place where “I work with valued colleagues who help me improve the quality of life for members of our community,” as one employee told me.

Make boosting the quality of your team or department or company’s culture a priority this year – and let service drive significance in the hearts of employees.

Does your team’s purpose have a “serve others” component? How strongly valued to employees feel in your organization? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Wendy Kaveney – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2015 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.


Don’t miss any of Chris’ posts, podcasts, or updates – Subscribe Now!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Leadership Development in 2016

Two Women Working At Computer In Contemporary OfficeMerriam-Webster declared “culture” the word of the year in 2014. We anxiously await the announcement of the 2015 word of the year. I’m hoping it’s “servant leadership.” (OK, that’s two words!)

With that in mind, here are my recommendations for leadership development in 2016.

For large companies, budgets have long since been formalized for the coming year. Many organizations invest in leadership training. If they haven’t already, HR team members are mapping out their company’s training curriculum right now.

For small businesses, they may have limited funds available to train leaders. There are a variety of solid leadership training programs available for individual leaders – at colleges, by chambers of commerce, in public workshops by training companies, and more.

Leadership training is a good thing, right? The number of hours leaders spend in development programs and the number of dollars spent on those programs are both easy to measure. Solid leadership development programs definitely build knowledge and awareness of effective leadership practices.

The problem is that participating in a training program doesn’t guarantee effective leadership behaviors are applied in daily interactions.

Though training expenditures and training hours are easily tracked, these aren’t the best metrics to use to gauge leader effectiveness.

For example, I’ve studied organizations that met development targets of 40-120 hours per leader annually. However, their leaders were not effective. They didn’t solve problems proactively. They didn’t delegate authority to talented, engaged team members. They mis-treated employees and customers. They didn’t consistently generate budgeted nets.

Yet those leaders kept their jobs. They were seen as “well-trained.”

In 2016, there are better metrics to monitor to ensure that your leadership development efforts result in effective leadership across your organization, whether it is a large multi-national company, a local neighborhood business, or anything in between.

This year, pay close attention to my “big three”: employee engagement, customer service, and results. Each of these is equally important! Most organizations measure, monitor, and reward only results. If leaders get those results in ways that erode engagement or service, so be it. The organization is getting exactly what they deserve – by focusing exclusively on results.

By measuring engagement and service as well, companies have a much clearer picture of the actual impact that their leaders are having on employees, customers, and the business.

By measuring engagement, service, and results, companies can celebrate those leaders that positively impact all three. They can easily identify leaders that fall short of positively impacting all three.

By all means, provide leadership development programs for your leaders. That’s 10 percent of the investment needed to have consistently effective leaders in your company. The other 90 percent is time and energy spent:

  • Regularly measuring every leader’s impact on engagement, service, and results,
  • Celebrating aligned behavior (positive impact on any of those big three), and
  • Re-directing mis-aligned behavior (eroding impact on any of those big three).

Don’t get hooked by the temptation to focus exclusively on the time or money spent on leadership development. It’s much more beneficial to invest time, energy, and mentoring in developing effective leaders and in crafting a safe, inspiring workplace culture, every day.

What is your organization’s philosophy on leadership development? To what extent does your company measure engagement, service, AND results to gauge leader effectiveness? Share your insights on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Photo © Monkey Business – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on my podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2015 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.


Don’t miss any of Chris’ posts, podcasts, or updates – Subscribe Now!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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