Serious Business

Who’s my audience? Who’s reading this? Whether speaking or writing, that is a fundamental question that must be answered if a person wants to impart information effectively. With this being a blog on CTI’s website, I really have no control over who is reading this, but I darn sure have control over to whom I’m writing!

I’m writing to anyone who enjoys being part of a team, and enjoys helping the team succeed in doing great things. If that’s not you, you’re welcome to continue reading, but my written words may silently go in one ear and out the other. To the winning team members, this is for you:

“Winning teams emerge when each individual on the team behaves in a manner consistent with the seriousness of the effort.”

That thesis statement was composed to deliver to an audience of proposal managers at an annual conference, but its message brings out the best in any team when followed.

Let’s reverse engineer that sentence from the back forward, kind of like good golfers strategize how they are going to play a certain hole, i.e. where do they want to putt from on the green, where in the fairway do they need to be to give them the best chance of hitting that area of the green, etc. all the way back to their tee shot.

Seriousness of the effort – Doing business today has never been more “serious.” We can discuss for weeks/months on end about company goals/mission statements, but when it is all said and done, leaders of a company will, and should, make decisions to maintain the company’s financial health and vitality. Great companies are scratching and clawing to maintain their financial health. Can you sense the “seriousness” of doing business today? Livelihoods are at stake!

Behaves in a manner consistent with… – An individual’s behavior is best characterized by his actions and attitude. Which actions and attitudes are consistent with today’s business climate? Aggressiveness, enthusiasm, efficiency, pride, thick skin, and flexibility come to mind.

Each individual on the team…The team is only as strong as its weakest link. EACH INDIVIDUAL must perform for the Winning team to emerge. When an outsider looks at your individual actions and attitudes, the outsider “sticks” those actions and attitudes onto your entire company.

Winning teams emerge… – Think back on times in your life when you were on teams. Some teams were made up of clowns who had no idea of what they were doing and where they were going. They took nothing seriously. Other teams were made up of individuals like you, and they “behaved” (took the appropriate actions with the right attitude), like a winning team. Which team gave you more pride?

There’s a saying, “If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.” Books are written about this stuff…lots of books, and although the concepts seem simple, they’re not easy to implement. The only possible way each of us stands a chance to get/stay onboard with the winning team, is to make certain each of us “behave in a manner consistent with the seriousness of the effort.”

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