Team Players

This week, as we’re approaching Christmas, I was reminded by a friend how difficult it can be to be a team player.  Sometimes your bosses are rude, sometimes customers are forgetful, sometimes people steal money, and other times your partner doesn’t feel like working.  As I’ve been thinking about what it means for a business to work together as a team, I read this quote by John Maxwell:

“Every team has three groups of players. There are the starters, who directly add value to the organization or who directly influence its course, and the bench players, who add value to the organization indirectly or who support the starters who do. The third group is a core group within the starters that I call the inner circle members. These are people without whom the team would fall apart.”

If you’re a business with more than one employee, you can probably see your business in this quote.  Business owners see “starters” as their cashiers, drink makers, secretaries and other front of the line people.  “Bench players” include affiliates, suppliers, marketing material printers, and other people most likely not involved in the day to day interaction with customers.  The “inner circle” includes your managers, shift supervisors and others who report directly (or almost directly) to you.

Yes, without the managers the business would fall apart or not be as successful, but without the bench and starter players, many businesses would cease to exist.

So what does this mean to you and me?  Well, it means that you need to understand how your business is set up and the human talent is distributed throughout.  It also means that you need to make sure you’ve got the right people in the right group doing the right thing to best support your organization.

But what it really means is that all people on your team, all the people who make your business run, are important.  The person who cleans the floors is just as important as the supervisor who takes care of your elite clients; you couldn’t have elite clients visit your location unless your floors were clean.

So this season, thank your team for doing what they do, and promote, or at the very least recognize, those who go above and beyond the position they play.

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