January 24, 2021

“You are where you are today in part because of what you’ve been saying….Words are like seeds.  When you speak something out, you give life to what you’re saying.  If you continue to say it, eventually that can become a reality.” – Joel Osteen

Well, 2021 certainly has started off with a bang, hasn’t it?  Some things bad, some things good.  Much of it out of our individual control. But there are two very crucial things that affect your own success and quality of life that are always under your direct control: your attitude and your words.  How you think and how you convey those thoughts to others can make all the difference in how your future turns out.

Since many of my readers are either direct sales leaders, entrepreneurs or team leaders at their work, I want to share a simple recipe for success in leading a team. Even if you aren’t a boss or team leader, you are undoubtedly part of a team in some area of life – your class, your family, your social circle, volunteer organization or church.  Rarely do we succeed in life all alone.  We need other people – many other people – to help us and we to help them too, as we all strive to reach our Big Goals.

This recipe for success shows us how to adopt the right attitude and – most importantly – how to convey it to others on our team in a way that will inspire, uplift and encourage them to believe in themselves and to want to be their best.

This simple recipe comes from an entertaining little book one of my coaching clients generously gifted me called The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. It’s the story of how a very unhappy marketing manager named George learns how to become a great team leader from the driver and passengers on a bus he is forced to take to work when his car is in the shop.  George’s family life is a shambles, his kids don’t like him and his wife is threatening divorce. And his department team members don’t much like him either. They do the bare minimum and won’t work cohesively as a team. George has just two weeks to pull his marketing team together to create a successful new product launch for his corporate bosses or he will be fired.

This short book is an easy read, but it contains some very practical ideas for nurturing and improving the happiness and effectiveness of our family, personal and business relationships by getting the important people in our lives to want to ride with us on our “Energy Bus.”

We’re the “bus driver” of our Energy Bus and they are our “passengers.”  We can’t MAKE them ride with us, we can only inspire them to want to get on board with our vision and CHOOSE to ride with us. The idea is that when we are all riding on the same bus, moving in the same direction, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish together.

Here is an excerpt from The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, edited slightly for length:

“Five Ways to Love Your Passengers

“1. Make Time for Them – When you love someone or something, you spend time with them. You nurture your relationship with them. You can’t nurture business relationships sitting at your desk, just as you can’t spend quality time with your spouse if you are watching television. So the key is to come out of your office and get to know your team.  Spend time with them. Get to know them individually. Get to know them as people, not numbers. Just as you would tend to a garden, you need to cultivate your team with love. And while you are with them it is important to be present with them.  Be engaged in the present moment. Don’t be thinking about 10 things you have to do that day or the 10 other people you need to meet with.  Really be with that person and focus your energy on them. They will feel the difference.

“2. Listen to Them – One of the most important factors that determines a high management approval rating is whether the manager listens to the employee.  Does the manager hear what the employee has to say? Does the manager listen to the ideas and needs of the employee?  Your employees and customers just want to be heard, so listen to them and hear them…Empathy is the key….For instance, when you ask someone how they are doing, an easy way to show you are listening is to actually wait for the answer and make eye contact.

“3. Recognize Them – We don’t mean with trophies or some awards dinner.  We want you to make it real personal. Honor them for who they are and what they do. Recognize them as a person as much as a business professional. One leader we know sends each employee a personal birthday card with a handwritten note, not some electronic fake signature but a real note…Another very powerful way to recognize them is to praise them when they are doing things right. The more you recognize them for doing things right, the more they will do things right.

“4. Serve Them – A great leader once said, the higher you get in an organization, the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you. The key is to serve their growth, their future, their career, and their spirits so they enjoy work, life and being on your bus. The more you serve their growth, the more they will help you grow.

“5. Bring Out the Best in Them – We saved this one for last because this is the most important. When you love someone you want the best for them. You want them to be successful and happy. You want to bring out the best in them. Thus the best way any leader can demonstrate their love for their team is to help each person discover their strengths and provide an opportunity for that person to utilize them. When you create a system that provides a way for your people to shine, you not only bring out the best in them, but in the rest of the team and company as well.  If you really want to love your team, help them do what they do best.”

Well, it won’t be much of a spoiler to tell you that George learns to live by this recipe for success and his wife and children begin to feel he loves them and they love him back. And his work team realizes he really cares about them and wants them to succeed and they begin to step up and contribute and shine and create a bang-up marketing presentation and everyone wins!

I believe I generally do follow these precepts with my family and coaching clients, but I know I can always do better. Starting NOW, I am going to re-read these five rules each morning during my personal development time to remind me to make sure they know that I genuinely do love them!

If you will do the same with the team in your life, I can promise that you will see some success miracles unfold for all of you, just like they did for George.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next week off.  Look for your next fresh Cup of Caroll on Sunday February 7. 

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****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

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