Monday, November 15, 2010

Proof That There Is an "I" In Team!

There are many overused clichés in society today. Without a doubt the world of professional speaking is filled with speakers who will repeat great sayings like “There is no ‘I’ in team.” I would submit to you that great organizations are built with people who take ownership of their actions and positions at work, therefore creating the “I”.

I was keynoting a couple of conventions last weekend in the San Francisco area. One of the beauties of my industry is that often times I can bring my fiancée or one of my kids along for the ride, and then we can extend our trip by a few days to enjoy some vacation time.

My fiancée and I checked into the Argonaut Hotel at Fisherman’s Wharf and were immediately greeted by the doorman who helped us with our bags and told us how glad he was to see us at his hotel.  The front desk employee, Liz, was equally as friendly and asked us about our interests. She went on to explain that when guests visit her in San Francisco, she likes to offer suggestions that may be a good fit for their interests.

What pushed me over the edge and impressed me beyond all else was when we were enjoying a glass of wine in the lobby with the other guests as part of the Argonaut’s Manager’s reception which occurs every evening. The woman who was pouring the wine came up to Shelly and I, and after filling our glasses, told us that she had opened the hotel several years ago and that business was fantastic. Actually, most of the guests returned to stay at her hotel when their travels brought them to the City by the Bay.

What we were witnessing was not some kind of training or a forced activity; it was part of the culture within the fabric of the hotel. Just like a hotel insisting on consistent bed linins and décor, the most obvious fixture in the building was the people working within the hotel.

Here are a few simple things that you could do today that will help you create the “I” factor within your business or organization.
  1. Empower people to make decisions, and leave them alone. Realize that they will make mistakes, but that is how they become stronger.
  2. Hold regular meetings that take no more than fifteen minutes from start to finish. It may sound crazy for me to suggest a short meeting, as I’m frequently paid to facilitate meetings; but many organizations fall into “Meetingitis” as a mask for a lack of productivity and action.
  3. Listen to your customers and your employees, regardless of their position. Great ideas don’t care where they come from.
 In today’s cynical marketplace, consumers are eager to do business with organizations that recognize and appreciate them. As for me, I will definitely stay at the Argonaut again! 

For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit or call our offices at 1-800-863-2591
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