You’ve heard the saying that “There’s no I in TEAM.” Well, that’s true, unless you’re part of a GREAT team!
I was emailing a potential HereNextYear client a couple of days ago and talking about our amazing team. In one of the sentences I mentioned the phrase GREAT team! and put an exclamation point at the end of the sentence.
And, that’s when I noticed it; that an exclamation point is really an upsidedown “i”.
Although subtle, and something you wouldn’t normally pay attention to, that upside “i” is still there.
That’s when I noticed something else. I would only use an exclamation point when referring to a GREAT team!
Now, any group can get together and become a team. It’s even possible to be a team of one. But, think about the bad teams out there that you are familiar with. I mean the really knarly toilet bowl level teams. Can you think of any one person on the team that over-earns his keep? Anyone that really stands out as the life saver? Of course not.
For crappy teams, there’s definitely no “I” in team. In fact, players of bad teams often blame the other guys on their team to compensate for their own lack of drive or skill.
But, now look at the GREAT teams! The teams that everyone wants to have and be like! On those teams, there is a definite “i” in every single player.
Every player of a GREAT team is completely focused without deviation, driven to success like a magnet, unaccepting of fatigue, compelled to use their off-time to practice even more to better themselves, dedicated beyond compare, and in as many metaphors as the great game of baseball offers…willing to take a line drive to the chest and still make the play at first base to win.
The best players are not usually coached to sustain those traits. For the great players, the drive comes from within.
Those team members are so good, their presence has a sort of subtlety even. You just expect them to be there and you have full confidence they’ll perform. You just sort of get used to their presence and relax knowing if those very special I’s are at work or on the field, everything will be fine. Just like an upsidedown letter i.
You just can’t get that level of drive and commitment and predictable outcome with a team that has no “i” in it.
I’ve been a little league baseball coach for a few years now ranging from casual rec league teams to AA to Majors/13D1. For some teams I’ve served as head coach and other times just helped out with pitchers. I can totally understand how adults gain their understanding of teams as children.
As importantly, I’ve seen how kids on those teams have grown into stars; one of the most rewarding moments for a coach. But, I’ve seen the occasional player retreat and quit the team without notice too, never to touch a baseball again. And, that is truly one of the saddest moments for a coach.
Our Colorado Rockies baseball team is disintegrating before our very eyes here in Colorado. The “i’s” of what resemblance we have of a great team are injured. I can’t even remember the last time we won a game. And, it’s been even longer since I had the confidence that our team would win a game. My own son doesn’t even recognize half the players…and he LIVES for baseball!
I just heard on CNN that the stock market took another plunge this morning after the FEDs announced more economic trouble on the way. Just look at the multiple teams who we’ve relied on over the past several years to get us into this mess. Definitely no “I’s” on those teams.
Another panicking business owner called me on the phone yesterday thinking his web designer didn’t know all he needs to know to really get their business growing from more leads and sales originating from the Internet. I’m sure you know the importance of having “I’s” on your business team and I’ll bet you could tell me exactly who they are too.
In all of these cases and probably thousands of other situations, whether it’s on the baseball field, in your business, or in your church, school or family, there is a bad team behind the cause of the problem and a GREAT team! that takes the reins, plunges through problems, sees you through the hard times and delivers a solution.
Alright already Marty!! What’s your point?
My point is in two parts.
1) Be one of the “i’s” on your own team. Be that person that strives for excellence no matter what the current situation. Learn, try new things, stop being afraid of technology and dive in!
2) Develop a team full of people who are “i’s”. Stop trying to do so much yourself and build a team that will be working with you for years to come. If you don’t have the time or resources to build and train and manage this team, find a team that is already together that you can PAY to help. GREAT teams! are worth paying for.
If you ever talk to me in person, you’ll find I’m a very humble kinda guy as business owners go. I don’t claim to be really really good at more than two things–getting people to trust me and selling.
Those are sure two great traits for doing business on the Internet, but there’s a lot more to running a business than only those two things.
I was just asked through Linkedin yesterday what my key to success is for being in business for more than 15 years. I answered humbly that you have to be willing to make more mistakes you ever dreamed possible and still get up the next day and try again. I also stressed the importance of not trying to do everything yourself and form a GREAT team!
There it was again. That GREAT team! reference.
As we enter another round of a really tough economy, I’m going to bet most people reading this are pretty nervous. You might be putting that new house on hold again or canceling that vacation or at least taking in your old jewelry to get bullion gold rates in cash.
Try not to beat yourself up too much. Rather, take a very careful look at your team. Is it just a ho-hum team with no “i’s” as you’ve been brought up to believe is the key to success? Or, do you have a GREAT team! made of stars who go out of their way to be the best?
Here, let me give you an example of a GREAT team! in business. It’s my own here at HereNextYear.
Then there’s Jeff. Jeff just came back to us from a year in the Army reserves. He couldn’t tell me where he was but we would IM with each other several times a week, me being in a cozy chair in my office and him being in an air conditioned tent in a desert with 125 degree temps outside in the midst of a seemingly ongoing sand storm.
Jeff is one of our PHP/MySQL/Linux stallions who’s been working with me since he was 16 years old. His first project for me was writing a walk-a-thon script for one of my non-profit clients that is still used today. When one of our websites has a problem, Jeff is our go-to guy and the needle in a haystack is fixed within minutes. Just incredible turnaround time.
Ian is one of our newer team additions. Ian has his own set of skills related to WordPress. But, what he has that most in this crazy industry do not is a very keen insight into how things should work behind the scenes. A website can be visible to the world if it’s programmed several different ways. What’s really hard to find is someone that can really see how things should be setup so that they run properly. I find myself all the time just suggesting to Ian to “figure it out and do what you think is best” because that’s exactly what Ian is capable of doing.
Of course, we have to bring Sue into the mix. Sue is my wife of 21 years. She helps me manage my own personal websites (almost 100 of them). After I trained her in the basics of using Google AdWords a few years ago, Sue took pay-per-click advertising management to a whole new level for our company. Imagine having someone that could spend half the time and get twice the result for a quarter of the ad-spend for pay-per-click. Sue is that secret weapon that just a few of our select business clients get to enjoy with Sue managing their ad campaigns.
There are other critical star members of our team, but that gives you an idea of what it takes to have a GREAT team! for your business.
I know this message is getting kinda long, but the combination of the FED announcement yesterday, the sucky stock report this morning, and all this baseball practice and games I’ve been into the past few weeks all came together for me about an hour ago and I just had to get it written out.
So, due to length, I won’t go into here exactly how to build that team as I’m sure you’re curious. Let’s just say it ain’t easy, it’s a lot more than just hiring someone in India through Craigslist and paying $75 to have a website churned out for you.
And it’s taken me 15 years to get this team to where it is now.
What I will say is that there definitely is an “i” in every GREAT team! At least one. Hopefully, your team has many.
Now, bring it in and on the count of three I want to hear you from where I sit. ONE, TWO, THREE….GO TEAM!