Team Building – Part 3

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Now that you’ve evaluated your staff and purged the malcontents and trouble makers, the process of building YOUR team can start.
First, you will need to work your way into the mix. This is often a difficult step. If you’re an employee that has climbed the corporate ladder and taken over control of the company, there will be jealousies to overcome. After all, you have likely leapfrogged some coworkers that feel they are imminently more qualified to run the company than you are. Don’t most people think they can run the company they work for better than those who ARE running it? You may also encounter former equals (or even superiors for that matter) that will be slow to respond to your efforts, usually to prove to the owners that they have backed the wrong horse.
If you’re coming from outside the organization, you really have your work cut out for you. Aside from the owner that brought you in, there is no one who feels you belong. In any case, having an easy to understand game plan and establishing trust early will be the first steps in gaining the traction you will need to get your team building process off to a running start. A solid strategy that uses employee “inclusion” will prove to be a valuable tool. Any successful team incorporates the talents of the “whole” as opposed to a few…or even one. Getting ideas and opinions from members of your team – and taking them seriously – is a great morale booster and often makes team members feel empowered. Empowerment will lead to confidence, and confidence will encourage more input. Congratulations! You have just created an environment that encourages your team to come to you with ideas, and if you find ways to bring their suggestions to life, you will gain their trust, and trust is vital for the success of any team.
And what about your game plan? It’s assumed you have one. For example, a limousine company in Chicago might have a goal of expanding its core client base, or maybe building a bus division. After all, no one should be satisfied with a stagnant client base, and not every limo service in Chicago has the infrastructure to run a bus company. So it’s important to build your team with your objectives in mind. A personal rule of mine is to look for multi-taskers. I love people that have the ability to handle more than one responsibility, as long as they can do them well. Multi-takers give you flexibility that people with singular talents do not, and when it comes to running a limousine service, flexibility is like gold. It’s value is tremendous.

(Part 4 will continue to explore building YOUR team)

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.