Most of you know that I lead a team of AMAZING people at SHIFT Digital. They are some of the most talented, creative, and intelligent people in our industry. I tell them often: “I would put you up against any other creative agency out there!” And it is true, I would, but that is for another day.
What you may not know is that my background is in the “Not For Profit” world. I got into marketing there and saw success helping many of the organizations I worked with use “social media” to build brand awareness. I saw enough success that I launched my first company, with the goal of helping Not For Profits use digital media to tell their story to the masses.
I’ve always played sports throughout my life. I love being on a team. I love how they expose those people who lead easily. I love that oftentimes the most talented people on teams are just outside of the spotlight.
Now that I lead a team, I’m always wondering and thinking about teams: what makes them work and what makes them fail. One thing that I’ve learned from leading my team is that it takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of patience. But more than anything it takes great communication.
I’ve been on many business teams that have failed, and I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing, trying to identify the single point of fail. My conclusion: Teams fail because of 2 reasons: mismanagement of talent, you know when you have a rockstar and you have them washing windows, and bad communication. You know, the type of communication that includes statements like “what did you do now?!” “why are you late again?!” “you are embarrassing me!” “just fake it till you make it”… yeah that kind.
My team is amazing. They are amazing because they are in the right role for them. They are amazing because they communicate with each other with statements like “Great Job Dan!” or “Samantha, I need help” or “Kirk, I’m running late!” They are fearless, creative, respectful of their fellow team members, and they are amazing.
What does your team look like? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you leading your team correctly?
- Do you need to manage talent better?
- Do you need to communicate better?
- Are you in the right roll?
- Is it time for a change?