Team Building

Creating A Loyal Team

People want to be valued, heard, and accepted. We all know that this is the core of what a brand should focus on when it comes to connecting with consumers.  

We also need to apply it to the people we work with — both to employees in our office and to colleagues we collaborate with — and to ourselves. 

If all your attention is going to keeping the squeaky wheel happy, the people who show up and deliver for you without demanding extra recognition or VIP treatment will leave. 

This is especially true for millennials (the generation born between 1979-2000, so any adult currently 39 or younger). Contrary to popular belief, millennials don't need extra special treatment, but because they were raised in a school system that in the early 1980's switched to prioritizing group work and all-in collaboration over independent study, they do need to feel heard.

Millennials will rarely tolerate being overlooked because of high-maintenance colleagues. If you aren't actively showing them that you value what they bring to the table, this group — who were also repeatedly taught never to settle or waste their life — will find a table that's more welcoming to true team players. 

Claiming that "no one is loyal anymore" is a lazy way of excusing your role in the matter. If a millennial stops trying to help you improve your company, it's because they've lost respect for you and feel they're now wasting their time. Loyalty is bred out of respect and that respect starts at the top. Respect yourself and others will respect you — and they'll stick around.

Originally published August 2016

Cultivating the Leaders On Your Team

One of the best gifts I’ve ever received was being given way too much high-stakes responsibility at my first "real job" when I had little experience.

When sink or swim is your only option, you learn how to swim — fast.

Being a control freak only ensures that your company never gets to the next level. If you’re interested in cultivating your employees into leaders, they don’t need more busy work. They need more of the important stuff you’re hesitant to take off your own plate.

Originally published February 2015

Why Your 'Yes' Shouldn't Always Be a "Hell Yeah!"

There’s a piece of commonly shared advice that tells us not to say yes to something unless we can say “hell yeah!” to it.

On the surface, this seems to make sense. It's meant to protect us from making passionless decisions that leave us frazzled and overcommitted. 

The problem with only saying yes if we mean “Hell yeah!” is that we begin to view everything through a narrow, selfish lens. 

Real life is full of compromise, give and take, and valuing people over an idea. Sometimes things won’t go 100% our way and we need to be there for others regardless. We need to say yes – not all the time, and I'm still an advocate of the joy of missing out – but if we want to truly enjoy life, we need to support others and say yes to things that we may not be 100% on fire for. 

Jeff Bezos and the leadership at Amazon often talk about a practice they have called “disagree and commit.” In his 2016 letter to shareholders, Bezos says that on a certain project he wanted to go one direction while members of his team wanted to go another. He replied, “I disagree but commit,” giving them the green light to go ahead. This wasn’t a “Hell yes,” but it was a yes and it was loyal support of his team. 

Not every “Yes” needs to be a “Hell yeah!” in order to be worth your time. Not every "Yes" needs to be a "Hell yeah!" in order to show loyalty. More of us would be better off adopting a “disagree and commit” mentality instead – and allowing the colleagues we work with to do the same.