Leaders, can we all get along?

stock-photo-four-multi-color-puzzle-pieces-combined-representing-team-concept-100504165The quote “can we all get along” was of course made famous by Rodney King in 1992 during the notorious Los Angeles riots.  Since then the quote has been misinterpreted and incorrectly captured over the years, as well as, being made into a punch line.  While the quote itself stands alone and is referring to a much deeper level of injustice, I want to relate these words to the leaders and future mentors of the business world.

In today’s business community there are and always will be hot topics and trends that tell our current story and shape the future.  But there are also philosophies and themes that will never be fads, they will instead be the subjects that we can always point to as predictable indicators for success.  Here are three that fall into that category.

IF THE TEAM WINS WE ALL WIN : Even if you have never been a member of a sports team, all of us have the basic understanding that bringing a group of people together to achieve a common goal is hard work.  Getting everyone to buy into a vision that should be larger than an individuals personal needs is challenging enough but then you add personalities, opinions, and egos to the mix and it can be as they say “a hot mess”.  But that is what a leader’s job is and if done correctly the ceiling continues to rise for that particular group.  If and when a team becomes a true “TEAM” regardless of an individual members business beliefs or opinions, the goals of the team become the most important endeavor on everyone’s plate.  Because we are humans and should be defiant at times, all voices should be heard but if the vision has been set by the leader the team will rally for the greater good and the larger accomplishments will eventually be broken down to praise individual performance accordingly.

SHARING AND STEALING IDEAS: Years ago it simply was not the norm to come up with a great concept or idea and willingly share it with your colleagues or peers.  As a matter of fact, back in the day it was frowned upon to let the cat out of the bag even within the same office or organization for fear that someone else might get the credit!  Oh times have changed and thank goodness because in today’s business world there are several companies that will ask that their leaders have the core competency of sharing best practices to improve the organization.  While there are plenty of talented leaders in the world, there will always be a lack of GREAT ideas that bubble up and if those ideas are exposed to everyone it can go from great to spectacular in a hurry.  Reason being, if those ideas are shared openly with the intent of improving the operation, the financials, or the experience of the team, execution is much more consistent and seamless enterprise wide.  When it becomes cultural to share and steal ideas it becomes natural to want what is best for the brand.

HELPING THOSE AROUND YOU UP THEIR GAME: Whether you are business owner, manager, or CEO a major responsibility that you have is to improve the performance of those that you work with.  It has been chronicled for years that elite athletes on championship teams have a positive impact on the people that they play with.  I know that it is easy to connect this concept to developing talent but that is not what I am referring to.  I am referring to a leader having the ability to role model the behavior that is necessary for the team to be successful.  The best and most recent example I can think of is Derek Jeter, the Captain!  Trust me when I say that I am not and have never been a Yankees fan, I can appreciate and marvel at the way that he led all those teams for all those years with hundreds of different personalities.  His demeanor and consistency at work was tough to deny and any player that joined that team knew that he was going to show all of them what it took to win and be successful.  Great leaders should strive towards picking up every individual with the thought and vision in mind that if everyone is connected and at their best WE will succeed.  If and when this is done successfully the expectation becomes so clear that the team will self correct (if necessary) at the appropriate time without hesitation.

Yes, I understand it is more than just getting along but a leader should have the intestinal fortitude to ask the question every now and then on the road towards continuous improvement.