We all have, and are part of, machines. For small business owners, free agents and hired guns, if the machine isn’t working, we really feel it. It’s one thing to be a Fortune 500 company and have a frayed cable or a leak, but small groups, boutique studios and entrepreneurs feel malfunctions, weaknesses, disloyalty, apathy, distraction, immaturity, inexperience, flat-lining, criticism, failed leadership, poor time management, missed opportunities, weak representation,…deeply. Our teams are our machines and when they’re squeaky or broken, we all feel the pain.
There are multiple parts, but if you’re reading this blog, you probably function in two ways: you’re the engine in one scenario (within your company) and you’re a supporting gear in another (to your client, customer, audience). When you’re the engine, it feels like you’re in a constant state of auditing/managing/driving the parts. Are they meeting deadlines? Stepping up? Generating the right thing at the right time? Are they proactive? Thoughtful? Are we doing the work we know we can do? Communicating with each other enough?
And to your client, are you listening? Delivering? Asking the right questions? Nailing the mission? Do they feel heard and successful with you?
It’s not realistic to think the team is always perfectly oiled and high-functioning. We’re humans, not wire rope and metal. But if we agree that no matter what, we’ll come to the table with not only our core talents, but a willingness to lift a little more, pull a little more, take on just a little more, then that little bit adds a bank of goodwill and productivity to the whole. Measuring and counting doesn’t generate that feeling or result.
But there has to be a baseline of agreement for that generosity to continue. And the agreement has to be that we assume the best, highest intentions of everyone involved, until proven wrong.
Even machines feel attitudes. When one really works, it’s because it not only performs, but the team/machine feels genuinely good about it.