I truly believe the team for “The Office” was one of the most brilliantly executed teams on TV. As you watch the show you see the essence of characters who lack motivation, looking to just get through the day, and overall are just looking to meet minimum expectations. All the while you have a boss albeit goofy, who is just constantly worried about his employees liking him.
But if you go behind the scenes it’s almost a complete 180. Every aspect of the show are individuals who are highly motivated, and driving the show forward. Every individual on the show is willing to do whatever it takes to keep making the show a hit, but never deviating too far. Sure they’re willing to take risks, but all within reason. Due to the understanding of everyone driving towards one mission.
Before LeadIQ, I was not working in an environment like the show had portrayed, but I wasn't surrounded by the behind the scenes environment either. Most of the organizations I worked for, met somewhere in the middle.
One of two situations occurred:
- I was surrounded by individuals who were highly motivated, but not by the mission by external factors. So if another organization offered them a better offer they left. Or.
- I was surrounded by those who were all about the mission, but weren’t hell bent on getting it accomplished right away. Like those individuals who constantly preach in their heads, “we need people to stop littering”, then when someone liters they go “hmmm….i’ll pick it up, but next time for sure. How about we go home after trivia night and write up our plan of attack.”
So in my mind, I never quite understood what it looked like to have a really well oiled machine. 90% of the time my boss would just worry if his team is going to meet their quota or get their tasks completed, and 10% of his time would go to other tasks his job required which can create a lot of stress.
It wasn’t until recently when I saw the creation of the perfectly balanced team from experimentation, each members role is highly important and allows a near perfect flow of operations. Obviously there are a lot of room for improvement, but as of now we are as efficient as we can possibly be.
I believe the minute we understood as a team, we lacked in organization was the minute our entire dynamics as a department changed.
When every member of the team wasn’t stretching themselves thin, we became a lot more impactful. Also the dynamic is in such a way where we all are able to help each other with our weaknesses. We complement one another.
Aligning Your Team
One thing was very apparent to me, when your team is aligned in mission and motivation magic can happen. But it’s not until you and your team care for each other when everything seems to get in place.
I always saw lacking within organizations was care, now I'm not expecting cuddly bears to give me hugs within organizations. But I would appreciate an environment where people give a damn about one another. It’s a very interesting some of these organizations help strip people’s humanistic qualities.
I’ve heard on multiple occasions while working in organizations like Kaplan and Siemens where people went: “It’s hot out there.” “It sure is” “Any plans for the weekend” “Yes, I will be…” and then the conversation ends and both people depart. Who talks to anyone this way, like how many times have you spoke with close family members and friends like this. NEVER would be my guess. Unless this is your tactic of conversing with others, then carry on...but you should look into changing that.
But while working for large organizations everyone seemed so distant from one another, my coworkers just did their job and went home. My boss just ordered demands around and no one seemed to care about anything other than money.
Like when the second Friday of every month rolled around everyone even my boss was like “PAYDAY!” But this mentality is self destructive, yes it’s great to get paid, but if that’s the biggest driver for work to be done. Oh boy that’s a cause for concern. It’s also not enough that you have a team of self motivated employees believing in the mission because you will not be the only organization with that same mentality.
The Power of Motivation
One of my best takeaways I learned this year was when my boss Ryan O’Hara took a great deal of interest in me. To the point he would sit me down and constantly try to find new ways to motivate me, new ways to understand who I am, it made me realize I didn’t just pick a job I picked a family.
I picked an organization that wants me to succeed. These small details are what made me constantly want to work harder, it made me constantly not be afraid to take chances, it made me want to take an interest so I can help contribute to the success and growth of the business. When you see that someone cares for you it makes you care back.
Take any top organization and you’ll see a trend when the workers feel loved and appreciated their work in terms of quality and quantity elevates. I’ve heard numerous stories where employees have gone above and beyond for their teams and coworkers.
When you start to care for your employees and create this atmosphere for creating a family, you start to see a noticeable difference and also you can see those individuals who are constantly struggling, and look for ways to make them successful.
Some managers provide and equip their employees with the tools they feel will make them stronger, some find ways to shift them around to find a more suitable position, but all this can be done once you understand your employees and that begins with caring for each one and looking for ways to constantly nurture their enthusiasm and ways to get them to achieve at their absolute best.
At the end of the day, the greatest achievements start and end when everyone is being taken care of. When we all start to look out for one another and not think only about ourselves to think about the greater good.
But it all starts from the top, Justin Welsh points out when hiring your team you need to look for those strictly driven to your mission. As an organization do not hire for the sake of hiring, then make sure you take care of those employees. Your employees are your prized possession, they are the ones that create direct impact.
I remember when I sat down with Praful Mathur he told me a story that I believe sums everything up. During his time at Shotput (a supply chain company), what his team was trying to figure out was how many items can you fit into a box. Mainly due to the fact a lot of their clients wanted to send products to their customers, but in the cheapest possible way.
As Praful proposed a solution, one of his employees realized that’s not going to cut it and took it upon herself to find a solution, she spent the weekend reading this really hard scientific research paper about computer science. Figured out how to implement that to an algorithm, which till this day is being used by other organizations.
She did it because it was something she wanted to solve and Shotput spent the time making sure they kept their employees motivated and happy to be there each and every day.