I’d like to preface this by stating, EVERYONE within your organization and Team is and can be a Rockstar! At the core, I believe most people want to be good at their job and have good intentions… however, many companies and leaders get trapped attempting to MOTIVATE their employees and this can be dangerous! Can you imagine being the coach of a sports team and having to always motivate your players to practice and play games… it would be exhausting for you, eat away at your love for the job, and eventually negatively impact your Leadership & Work/Life Harmony… and theirs! Therefore, my rule when getting to build a team is… The 3 P’s. Are the people you’re bringing in Positive, Passionate, and Productive? When this is the case, everyone is a Rockstar and ready to find the seat within the organization that fits them best! This may not be the case for you, as you may have inherited a team due to being promoted, transferred, new to a company, or due to an employee shortage, the organization simply hired a bunch of bodies. The good news is, everyone can be a Rockstar, and whether you’ve gotten to hand-pick your team, or you inherited one… there are 5 Key Types of Team Members to focus on. So, who are they and how to do it?
I’ll define “Power” as the ability to influence. The scary thing is, power and influence can go one of two ways… for the better or for the worse… and the person with the power may not always be you! It sounds odd; you’re the boss, the one with the title, but you may quickly find there may be one or a few employees underneath your title that the team and the front-line listen to more and take their cues from.
I’ve been on both sides, being the Positive Seller and The Destructive Seller. Let’s start with destructive… many years ago, as a Mental Health Therapist, I entered a facility in year two of its inception and had a ball starting something from scratch. Professionally, it was a great time in my life and it lasted for about 15 years. Looking back, I’m grateful to have had the experience and lucky it lasted as long as it did; but all great things must come to an end!
With the change of CEO, a slew of administrative changes, policy changes, and a new direct boss… all things came crashing down; including my morale, my leadership, my positivity, my passion, and production! However, I was still “The Seller” and people were buying what I was selling; that the new boss sucked, was not fit for the job, what I’d do instead, that the system was broken… all with no plan of action or willingness to be a part of the solution to best move forward! As a leader, please know the grouches on your team are not only miserable… they also recruit! As a person of my standing back then… more co-workers, employees, and supervisors listened to me than my boss; however, I was no longer fit to wield that type of power; and eventually the company agreed as well!
Years later, I had the privilege of being “The Positive Seller”. I accepted a job in sales full-time and my business was just getting off the ground. I had twelve staff at that time and was in a much better place professionally, personally, and in my leadership. It was important for me to give the company that hired me the same respect and effort I wanted from my employees. Although I was not in a position of leadership, I chose to show up daily with a smile, willing to do my best, be my best, speak my best, learn, and encourage (Personal Leadership). Some followed, some knew where to go when times were hard, and the Negative Nicks and Nancys knew not to bring it my way!
In both accounts as a leader, when you have The Positive or The Destructive Seller… it may enhance your leadership to acknowledge their skill set, their role, and rather than being intimidated by it… utilize it to positively impact the team. When I was the “Destructive Seller”, it would have meant the world to me for my new boss to say, “I know I’m new here and you seem to have the lay of the land, how things work, and who to go to. I’d like to lean on you for a while with some big and small things. I have a vision and your feedback would be helpful until I can get my bearings. I don’t promise we will always see eye-to-eye or that I can use everything you share, but I’ll be sure to give a real explanation and the bigger picture. Thank You for everything you’ve done before I got here and for all we’ll accomplish moving forward!”. Feel free to make this your own. The truth is, some will love this and see you as open, sincere, and willing. Others may see you as weak and you “should” know all the answers due to taking their promotion, earning management money, or having the management title. The point is to acknowledge their role, their power, and the possibility to make an impact!
Lastly, The Seller is the team member that may help to sell tough ideas to co-works and front-line employees. As a leader, it’s your job to lead… however a little help and partnerships can go a long way in smoothing rough edges in a tumultuous work environment! Share the news with The Seller beforehand or after the team meetings; being sure to answer their questions, share the benefits for the employee, the team, and the organization… as The Seller having a better understanding of “The Why” and “The How” will arm them with the necessary information needed when they are inevitably bombarding with gripes and complaints from co-workers!
This is the team member with the BIG personality! They light up a room when they walk in, everyone knows them, they’re positive, engages with everyone, and the cherry on top… they’re great at their job! What a wonderful person to be the face of your organization when out in public! Years ago, my business did a lot of work on college campuses, impacting young men and women. There were two interns I labeled, The Personality! They were both motivated, inspiring, charismatic, and engaging… perfect to wear the You Evolving Now tee shirts around campus to network and recruit. The difference… one intern was the BIG Personality and positive all the time; while the other was a BIG Personality and had two-faces. I observed it happen one day as I was on campus… while he was officially on the clock… he was inspiring, pleasant, and positive. AS SOON AS THE EVENT WAS OVER… BAM… a totally different person! Be mindful, before making your “Personality” Team Member the face of your mission, vision, or organization… be sure they are that way all or most of the time!
In my last job as an employee, I was faced with a dilemma… I wanted to be the face of my own company and also wanted to make as many sales as possible at my job. I was scheduled to attend a Networking event and didn’t want to be the guy handing out two different business cards. I chose my business! However, what an impact it would have been for my sales and my company for me to be the face of the store out in the world. Who is “The Personality” on your team? Are they consistently positive, passionate, and productive? How can a win-win be created; having them represent the brand and vision and helping their career and dream in the process?
The Closer is the team member you trust to get things done! When the stuff hits the fan, you have that important project due, that high profile client/customer needs tending to… this is the team member you trust to take it across the finish line. I often talk about the word protection as a lost word when it comes to leadership… Protecting our people from themselves and their bad habits with boundaries and rules, protecting our time as leaders, and protecting our people from us. “The Closer” requires your protection; as they are known by you for getting stuff done… but also known by everyone else for the same thing! Therefore, you think he/she has only their work and the favors you asked them to do on their list; not knowing everyone else in the office has asked them to do three things. Compound this day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade… how do you think they’re supposed to feel about their job, their co-workers, YOU? Protect and care for your “Closers” by knowing what they want to get out of working with and for the company, what’s their vision is for their lives professionally, what their dreams are and how you/the organization can help, and having their regularly scheduled 1-on-1 Meetings I share about in my videos and blogs with a focus on knowing their “List” and how to best prioritize, delegate, or subtract… enhancing the leadership of your team and their Leadership & Work/Life Harmony
This may be a hard team member to identify; as a lot of their actions and interactions will happen away for you. Co-workers are getting into verbal spats… they’re the one to settle things down. The Peacekeeper is the quiet and subtle voice of reason on the floor, on the job, over the call, or emails. They may be the gentle greeting or smile needed by a new employee or a stressed employee. Years ago, I was providing ongoing Leadership Training at an organization and had the honor of meeting with so many of their wonderful employees. While meeting with staff, one employee’s name kept coming up as a person that was pleasant, a hard-worker, and most importantly was nice and a soft-spot for struggling and socially isolated employees. Her name came up so much, I felt like I was meeting Mother Teresa by the time she walked through the door… and I was honored to shake her hand. As a leader, my advice is to start asking your staff periodically… who is the Peacekeeper here? Who do you turn to when you’re having a bad day or feel alone at work? Who would you say is the nicest, listens the best, gives the best advice? There must be a way to reward someone so valuable to your team, the organization, and your client/customer base!
As I stated in the beginning, everyone within your organization and team is a Rockstar! They may not be currently exhibiting Rockstar interactions or production; however, I believe everyone has Rockstar potential. Did they have it starting with your organization and it fizzled due to poor leadership practices? Did it fizzle due to being burnt-out or bored-out? Did you simply need to hire a body and that’s what you got… a passionless for your cause breathing body? In either case, they show up every day for a reason… perhaps they want to learn more about the job, want to move up, the job is a stepping stone, or they simply need that paycheck once every two weeks. Whatever their “Why”… find out what it is, how to help, set or reset some high expectations and high standards, and start a new day and new culture!
“As a leader, please know the grouches on your team are not only miserable… they also recruit… Be Mindful! – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
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