Built to Win

Guest post from regular contributor S. Chris Edmonds:

Built to win doesn’t mean you’re going to win. It means that you are setting your team up to win more often than not.

Recently, I spoke to 300 leaders at a client’s annual conference.

Between the banners hanging on the walls demonstrating their past successes and industry awards, the celebration of their terrific financial results, which were the best in the company’s history, and the praises sung of their unique organizational culture, which they believe is the foundation of the company’s success, it was clear that the theme was this company was “Built to Win.”

 
But the company leaders didn’t leave it at that; they acknowledged the hard work ahead by saying, “That’s all in the past. We have the opportunity to do very well in the coming year – but we have to earn every customer’s business and earn our employees’ hearts, every day this year, all over again.”
 
In the NFL, the 2013 Denver Broncos were built to win, but couldn’t handle the poised Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. In Major League Baseball, the 2011 New York Yankees were built to win but didn’t make it to the World Series.
 
There are many other examples of sports teams and company teams around the globe that had talent, leadership, and heart, but were unable to finish. They simply didn’t “win” as expected.
 
Every leader on the planet, of every team and company, large or small, believes they have built their team to win. Few leaders would admit their team is built to lose or is built for mediocrity, right?
 
What separates the teams that should win, that could win from those that execute well, adapt well, and exceed their high expectations?
 
I suggest these three integrated approaches.
 
Treat Employees As Your Primary Customers
Create a safe, inspiring, respectful work environment of trust, giving your employees the opportunity to apply their knowledge, skills, and hearts to serve the team and organizational constitution daily.
 
Formalize Your Culture
Don’t leave your culture to chance. It drives everything that happens in your company. Start by formalizing your team or company’s “reason for being,” it’s present-day purpose. Then outline your team’s values, the desired principles you want to be demonstrated in every interaction daily. Define values in observable, measurable, behavioral term, writing them into an organizational constitution.
 
Evolve, Learn & Refine Daily
With your standards now defined, spend time and energy paying attention to the quality of the work environment and your team’s performance. Engage and learn employee’s perceptions about how to make improvements. Test new approaches. Learn and test again. This ongoing evolution is the mark of high performing, values-aligned teams.
 
What will you do to build your team for wins today?
 
S. Chris Edmonds is a sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. After a 15-year career leading successful teams, Chris founded his consulting company, The Purposeful Culture Group, in 1990. Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies since 1995. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Amazon best sellers The Culture Engine and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn from his blog posts, podcasts, assessments, research, and videos at http://drivingresultsthroughculture.com. Get free resources plus weekly updates from Chris by subscribing here


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