"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." -Andrew Carnegie
No matter where you are in business, you will only be as good as the team you surround yourself with. Even if you are a solopreneur, you have a team. It comes in the form of your vendors, partnerships, etc. And that means that whatever stage you are in your business or in building a team, you need to make sure first and foremost that you have the RIGHT people. This is most critical. It is not enough to have people on your team...To really make things go, you have to have the RIGHT people doing the Right things Right!
With that said, once you have your team in place, it is your job to inspire and motivate them to greatness.
First, you must be able to create a vivid picture and vision of where you are all going for everyone. Then, you must make sure that everyone sees it and understands it.
Next, you must believe in it with more conviction than anyone and show that to your team. You must show that by believing in them and helping them realize where they fit into making the vision a reality. Help them realize what you believe they are truly capable of and how it contributes in a large way to manifesting the vision.
Third, in order the belief in the vision and your belief in your team's ability to make it happen, you have to get in the trenches with them. You have to get down in the dirt and work with them and help them overcome challenges and obstacles - especially in the beginning. This does not mean that you do the work for them, but it does mean when they don't think something can done, you help show them the way, or work with them to help them figure it out. When they see you working with them side by side and see progress happening, it will ignite their passion even further and accelerate your pace toward your goal.
Fourth, listen to your team. They are the ones in the trenches all day. They are in the field and at ground zero with clients. Some of the best insight comes from their day to day interactions. Listen to what they have to say, analyze it's impact, and take action if appropriate. Your ability to listen and synthesize the acres of diamonds they unearth will help you even further in getting to your goal and reaching greatness as a team.
Lastly, ask for help and tell them to do the same of each other. People support what they help to create and you must foster an environment that collaborates and makes things happen. The only way you can do this well is by encouraging people to ask for help where they need it and help others when they need it. It should be a badge of honor to ask for you help because that means you are striving and getting closer to your goal.
If you take these principles and use the with your "teams," you will be amazed at what they (and you and your business) can accomplish. Here's to your success!
One of the best ways to grow yourself and your business is to create lasting partnerships that are mutually beneficial to both parties. If you look throughout the business world, you will see example after example of partnerships that created massive successes such as Microsoft and IBM, Credit Card Companies and Banks, Uber and Spotify, Apple and Cell Service Providers - the list goes on and on.
I'm been fortunate to help create and be a part of very successful and lasting partnerships. Here's what I've learned over the years.
Some of the Best Partnerships Are Ones You Are Not Looking For
As an entrepreneur or business leader, you should always be open to opportunity and on the look out. You never know where the next big success is going to come from. Over the years, I have found opportunity with partners in the most unlikely of places. For example, the Grow Thrive Revive bi-annual retreat was created when after interviewing a guest on Misfit, global entrepreneur Evan Money, we had a some time left over and got to chatting about the business and personal growth event landscape.
We found that we had very similar thoughts on the state of things and how we could create an event that would not only deliver much more, but create an experience around unlike any other. I was was not looking for a partner to do an event, but I was open to receiving opportunity, and when Evan's passion showed through at the same level as mine, I knew we had to bring the event to life.
Always be open to opportunity and give it a chance.
Most Partnerships Go Nowhere Because They Lack Commitment and Action!
You see this in the corporate world all of the time. Two companies come out, announce a "game-changing" partnership, do a press release, get some headlines, and then you never hear about it again. This happens because once the excitement and spotlight is over, the work has to begin. And for most, they never do the work and take the action needed to make the partnership a success.
Good partnerships are work. Hard work. They are like starting a new business. You will have to get two groups/cultures to work together and overcome challenges. You will have disagreements, setbacks, and even feel like quitting. But to make it work, you will have to be disciplined, consistent, and persevere.
In order to succeed in any partnership, you will need to commit to it and take the action you know it will require to succeed.
Great Partnerships are Ones in Which Everyone Wins
This may seen like common sense, but it is not. To create a partnership in which everyone truly wins is not easy. It takes compromise and sacrifice. It means having to get past the business side of things and realize that you truly care about the people in the partnership as individuals and want to see them succeed as much as you want your own success. It means thinking about them and not yourself (which is becoming harder for people to do in today's world). But, if you can accomplish a true win-win - not only will the partnership be a success, but the results from it will be even better.
Great partnerships are like family. You are devoted to them and willing to be by their side through whatever comes up, but they also challenge you, sometimes aggravate you, and give you both great joy and grief. But, at the end of the day, you truly care for them and for their well-being and want to see them succeed. If you approach partnerships in this way and find and create the win-win, you'll be amazed the success you will have.
Some books are timeless and offer wisdom and insight that everyone can and should use in their lives. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is one of those books. The book is about Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psycho-therapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. It was this understanding that kept him alive and kept him going in the darkest of times. Here are my 8 favorite quotes from the book to inspire and motivate you to something better and greater.
There are a number of other very thought-provoking realizations and quotes from Viktor and if you are interested to read more of them, you can view them here.
You win in your mind first before anywhere else. Your mindset, attitude, and way of approaching everything has the biggest impact on your success. But, even if you understand this, sometimes it is easy to get stuck in a rut or pattern where you are comfortable and don't challenge yourself to up your game and reach higher levels of thinking.
Here are 22 ways to up your mental game and breakthrough to new levels of success in your life.
Visionary. Genius. Innovator. Disruptor.
These are all words used to describe Elon Musk. And they are all true. Elon is an amazing individual, with an almost cult following. A sort of Tony Stark of our time.
While he embodies all of the descriptions above, if you look at the fundamentals of his companies, they are broke and supported by massive debt. Over the last 4 years, Tesla has lost $9 billion in free cash flow and has made up for its losses with huge amounts of debt. In fact, Tesla's interest payments doubled in 4th quarter 2017 from the year prior at 15% of gross profit to 33% - which of course contributed to it's massive losses in net income.
Now, I'm not here to bash Elon or Tesla. That't not the point and the facts and data are the facts and data - look them up.
What I do want to share are the things, as an entrepreneur, that you should take away from what Elon has done and some lessons you can use to run a more successful business.
First, businesses can go on for a long time funded by debt (Just ask Amazon), as long as people and markets believe in them. This is one thing that Elon has done very well. He has created the belief in his vision and the future of what Tesla can mean for the world. And this will last until it doesn't, unless the company produces tangible results. But that can be a while.
As an entrepreneur, you must be able to present your vision in a way that just about anyone can understand it and you must do it with such conviction that they have no doubt about your commitment to making it a reality.
If you can do that, you have a good start. Of course, that means wholeheartedly believing in your vision and if you don't, you better come up with one that you do believe in pretty fast. Crafting and presenting a vision with conviction is a big lesson you can learn from Elon.
Next, run your business with the same commitment to excellence as you have conviction in your vision. Cash is king and if you can delay gratification and build your business out of cashflow without taking on large debt, you will be much better off. But, if you do take on debt, do it with skepticism and have a serious plan on how you are going to turn that debt into profits. How will you take the debt and create a machine that will pay for that debt 5x over (within a few years) and continue to pay you? If you don't have a reasonably good idea of how you can use the debt to create a 5x return or better, it is probably not a good idea to take it on - because it always takes more to pay off debt that you think it does.
And the worst place that you can get yourself into is a compounding debt scenario where you have to take on debt to pay off debt, and so on. This is where Musk is with Tesla and will need a truly big breakthrough soon to get the return on debt needed to turn around this current track.
In the world of Silicon Valley hype and unicorn stories of people becoming billionaires in their 20's off an idea; it's hard for entrepreneurs just not to follow what they think the herd is doing: Come up with an idea, go get a bunch of investment, take on more debt/investment, sell out. The reality is that the chances of that happening are very slim to none, so if you are going to start a business or have one, you have to approach it from a long term view. Build it so that it can be sold (if the opportunity presents itself) but run it like you will have it forever. If you think of things in those terms, you will be able show great vision, but have better financial responsibility - and could prove to run a business better than Elon Musk!
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