I suggest you take time to get to know yourself. I call it windshield time. The next time you’re on the road for an hour or more, cut the radio off, or way down, and get to know yourself. For me, the quiet time is an opportunity to think out my challenges and grow.
What are your gifts? Maybe they are an aptitude for hospitality, sales or mentoring. Are you using them to the best of your ability? When was the last time you asked a peer or someone that you trust what your short comings are? If you’re short or curt with people, you may not want to work in the hospitality field. We all need feedback and positive criticism. The key is not to take offense, but to work and improve in those areas.
When you do find yourself on a team, trust your leader. If he or she is mentoring you they know to succeed, you must succeed first. Zig Ziglar said, “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” Know they have your best interests at heart. If not, find a new team.
Low Morale in Your Team?
Have you ever worked for a company or even led a team where morale is low? As a leader, we must do productive things to give the team an energy shot. When you first start as a team, any achievement is ended with high fives and a toast. To keep the momentum going, you have to provide more victories. As the old saying goes, “You can’t steer a parked car.” It’s hard to achieve any victory if the team is not going forward.
What does it take to get the bus moving?
People will do what they see. The best way to get a big return is to model the behavior. If people see you out there serving customers with a friendly smile, they will too.
Develop relationships – If you’re going to win a game, you need players that that can put balls through the hoops and those that can make touchdowns. Start with the team members that don’t need micromanaging first. Don’t give them too much work in the beginning. It’s often said that a leader will touch a heart before they ask for a hand.
Set Your Team Up To Succeed
The more wins your team has, the more confidence they will have to win the tougher victories. Start with people that have the best potential to win.
Keep the vision before your team. Thomas John Watson was a master at raising moral. Watson often motivated his employees through slogans and songs, a company newspaper and school, a country club that any employee could join for a dollar a year, and the promise of lifetime employment. One of his slogans was “World peace through world trade.”
During the NCR (National Cash Register) years, to raise the morale of a dispirited sales force, Watson adopted his famous motto “THINK” and placed framed placards with that single word throughout the company’s offices. Years later, he would use that same slogan at IBM, a company he was soon to join. Today, you still see the name on lap top computers known as “THINK pads.”
Have you ever experienced anger, depression, feeling anxious and declared your feelings openly? I know I have acted this way. What I have found is someone with strong character remains consistent through everything. Sometimes we have to be faithful in what we do even though we may not understand what is happening. We must maintain high integrity despite our circumstances. Here is why. As a leader, we must have a vision. I’m not saying we have to be psychic and know everything the future holds. Bill Hybels said, “Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.” They never pretend to be in control because people can see right through us. “We must model control, humanity and identify the limitations of our followers,” said John Maxwell.
Leaders should be anchors, not just for themselves, but for others. Leaders should act from character and not from emotions. To keep it simple, Mark Twain said it this way: “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
Last but not least, rely on your gut feeling and experience. Oscar Wilde said, “Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.”
Wayne Bailey is Deputy Director North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office State Fire Marshal where he manages the Fire and Rescue Commission Staff. He serves on IFSAC’s Certificate Assembly Board of Governor and is a member of the NFPA 1006 Technical Rescue Committee.