LONG GROUP - THE BLOG!
Being a team player – by Chris Long
I was on twitter today and tweeted a few encouraging words to a guy on my team who was displaying team spirit or esprit de corp. It got me thinking about how before you can lead others, you must be willing to be lead but more importantly, have a servant heart and be willing to HAPPILY serve the team. The obvious reason for this would be something like, “You need to serve the team before the team will serve you..” or some other catchy one liner. But the reality is a little deeper. What we sometimes might not think about leadership, is that at its core, its servanthood. Every great leader that I have had the privilege of knowing has been a servant leader, in other words, he or she has been willing to sacrifice at personal expense for the team. It’s in their DNA either naturally or forged that way. The thing is, that servant style leadership doesn’t just “happen” once you become someone worth following, it starts when you are a member of a team first. It’s where that trait is forged. Selfishness would be a key enemy to this trait and if not managed or checked, would prevent someone from becoming a great leader.
Comment - from Mike Pursley
One of the traits that MOST appeals to me about the leadership team in the Long Group is that very evident servant heart. I see it in spades in Mike Killimett and Brent Abernathy...and I suspect they either got it...or got it nurtured from associating with you Chris. Gotta love that!
Comment - from Jerrod Ewing
This post is awesome. I wish everyone fully understood how simple this truly is , yet it has been proven time and time again that this is the hardest thing for people to do. No one is asking people to spend millions of dollars , or give up life be part of some religious experience , all this is saying is SERVE.... and whats even better is if people DON’T serve yet they start seeing some results , BE CAREFUL that’s a trick , cause sooner or later your efforts that you have put in (or lack thereof) will come back full tilt. Chris thank you for modeling the behavior of a Servant Leader/Serving Others in front of me , I know that has been one main reason our team has seen the growth it has. Jennifer and I will continue to model you and Cortney by being a servant leader.
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Consistency - by Gary Pommerenck
Chris, your blog on what it means to be a Team Player got me thinking about another key characteristic a team player has to have – Consistency.
In our business, success and achievement of the goals you desire will be a by-product and measure of the persistent, consistent effort you put forth to be a Team Player.
Anyone that has ever played sports understands the need for consistency, each player has to know what level of performance is required in each situation and the rest of the team and coaches need to know what to expect out of you when you are out in the field representing the team. That trust among players and coaches that you will be there to receive the pass or block out the opposition to help your team score has to be built up over time through persistent, targeted practice on the basics and plays everyone needs to follow for the team to be successful.
Chris, I think our business is much like a sports team. The Womack Heirarchy and the Long Group in particular are clearly head and shoulders above almost every other Agency Manger team at NAA because, as coaches and mentors, you do an unbelievable job of teaching us the basics, making us practice them and then tweaking our actions when the desired result is not achieved.
But to become a trusted member that adds value and serves the team, you must first earn that trust through intentional, targeted practice of the basics and team plays. You must first make up your mind that you want to play a significant role on the team and in other peoples lives and then work your butt off, constantly trying to achieve your personal best in order to become a player deserving of our mentors time and effort. Our mamangers help is a reward for your consistent effort, not a right that can be demanded.
Perfect practice builds up repeatable results, and once those actions and results become consistent, you become a true member of the team that can be counted on to do what is right and best for the team and set a good example for others to follow. Once your actions become consistent, and you truly feel miserable when you are not doing what is expected, such as the 8 Steps or the 250/10/5 minimum standard required in our business to be successful, you will begin to receive the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are always striving to reach your own personal best and the blessing of more time and attention from your managers. What more could anyone ask for?
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