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Jonathan

Vehar

Be Selfless To drive Team Success - www.pilgrimpro.com

Selflessness — Driver of team success

Partial Transcript

For a team to stick together when they’re doing the hard work to drive towards success you need some glue. You need some team glue.  Now team glue is not a product that I’m hocking. This isn’t an infomercial, but it’s the X Factor in how teams work really well together, and frequently  all it takes is one person to  demonstrate real selflessness – not selfishness – selflessness.

My friend and colleague Mike Maddox sent  me an article recently about Conrad Hawley.  Conrad Hawley plays on the Iowa State basketball team and he is known as the CEO  In this case it means the chief energy officer.  He’s the most inspirational  member of that team – perhaps the most valuable member of that team.  Even though his playing time can be measured in seconds not minutes, Conrad’s bringing energy. 

But I think  he’s bringing something more – he’s bringing a willingness to be selfless.  A willingness to cheer others on.  To elevate other people to bring that energy and enthusiasm.  To make it not about him, but about the team.  About the other members of the team.  About the team’s  success.

Several years ago, I worked with the  chief technology officer of a large entertainment company, and his frustration with his team was that he wasn’t getting the best out of them.  The team wasn’t nearly as good as he knew that they could be based on who they were as individuals.

I watched him in a meeting and every time he asked a question, he was the first person to answer it.  Every time somebody else asked a question he was the first person to answer it.  

Now he was a smart guy, no doubt about it, and he had a lot of great answers.  But he was too willing to take up the space.  He needed to be more selfless.

Now let’s contrast that with my friend Herb Escher who runs the Dale Carnegie operations in Western New York, Central New York Long Island, Greater Boston.  When herb asks a question or when he’s asked a question, he is the first person to ask other people what they think.  Right now, some managers do this.  Not in a genuine way, they’re just doing it because they know they’re supposed to and then they say okay well here’s what we’re really going to do because here’s my idea.  But herb listens in a genuine way he listens selflessly to find out where the best answer is, recognizing that it might not be from him.  It may well be.  He’s been doing this a long time and he’s really smart guy, but he’s willing to look for the best idea and be selfless in that.  Right now, Herb and Conrad Hawley (the guy from Iowa State basketball team), they both work as hard as anybody else on the team and they demonstrate that they’re not there to coast and let other people do the work, but they’re going to do that hard work.  And by being selfless they serve as the team glue.

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