Teamwork Makes the Dream Work – 4 Lessons Learned

In my 20+ years of leading the C3Workplace team, trust me when I say: my management style has changed … drastically. I am a recovered micro-manager — there was no situation I could not make worse by trying to force my solution (because, it was not only the best idea, but the only solution 😊). In fact, I recall a time when colleagues would take bets as to how long a new employee would last. One gal left for lunch and never came back (except 6 months later to ask for her pay check). Oh, the stories I could tell … but what doesn’t kill us really does make us stronger.

I began a process of shifting my style and ultimately the culture at C3Workplace … it has made ALL the difference. And, let me repeat it is a process, not an event.

Here are some of the things I learned:

I needed outside help.  I had no perspective on how I was running the company and the impact that was having on team members. Hiring outside consultants in this area has been an integral part of my growth. Call it talent management or development, or whatever you want – you will not succeed in isolation. You need to invest time and resources into your team.

I needed to give my team a voice. Not lip service, but a true voice. That meant that I had to … wait for it – listen!  I had to learn how to actively listen and ask questions instead of providing answers.

We needed to communicate as a team regularly. Staff meetings were born. I’m pretty sure I did all/most of the talking for the first six months. But over time, everyone felt safe enough to lend their voice and ideas to the conversation.

I needed to clearly convey our mission value and vision.  As my friend Simon Sinek says … ‘people who believe what you believe will put blood, sweat and tears into their work — they are NOT showing up for a paycheck’ [paraphrased by me].

And thus, a Culture is Born. And my friends, Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch & dinner!

This applies to your core full-time employees, part time employees, summer interns and independent contractors. In today’s workplace, hybrid teams are the norm. We need to rely on our culture and our team to transcend work places, work styles, diverse backgrounds, multiple generations and … rapid fire change. Your culture is what pulls it together and produces better results every time.

As we approach summer and seek to bring on interns and/or get some time off, this topic becomes even more important and there are so many facets  – tools, experts, methodologies. It’s a science unto itself. Want to learn more?  Join us on 6/19 for a Virtual Panel Discussion How to Grow (and Keep) Your Dream Team – register to attend live or receive the recording.



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