Archives For teamwork

Over a decade ago I received a DVD of a past Chick-fil-A franchisee seminar. As I watched, the late founder Truett Cathy took the stage to deliver his opening remarks. They weren’t what I expected. He opened by saying, “If any of you has something against someone in this room, I want you to make it right.” Then he promptly left the stage and approached someone in the audience for a conversation. After an initial silence, almost every person in the audience got up and found someone to talk to. Soon the whole place was abuzz for quite sometime.

Watching the seminar footage, I couldn’t help but muse, “You just don’t see that every day….” It was just so… different. Contrast this with a scenario that played out a few years back on my team. I had received some feedback on a project that I didn’t agree with and had defended myself a little too aggressively. The next day, I decided I owed my team an apology. Even so, I remember pacing in my cubical for several minutes before I could muster up the will to admit I’d been wrong.

What is it about apologizing that is so difficult? And what makes it so important – in terms of cultural capital, influence and effectiveness?

Here are my observations.

Continue Reading…

In the past, I’ve shared the value of being a “Kamerman teammate” – that is, going the extra mile to make your teammate look good. It’s a mindset shift for most of us, and a complete game-changer at that. I’d like to take this concept a step further and share some practical ways to get started. Over the course of my career thus far, I’ve found that these twelve strategies for extraordinary teamwork not only make your team stronger, they have the power to significantly influence the culture of your organization if others begin to follow your example.

Business Colleagues

Continue Reading…

As a University of Kansas basketball fan, I’ve never rooted for Duke. But there is a Duke moment that stands out in my memory. It occurred probably 10 or 15 years ago. Duke was in the process of getting upset in the NCAA Tournament. They were playing hard that day but not well. Near the end of the game, the senior star player fouled out, highlighting the frustrating day for everyone. As he exited the floor for the last time as a college athlete, he headed straight for Coach Mike Krzyzewski with tears streaming down his face and the two shared a prolonged embrace.

My first thought was that Coach K must have really messed up his black suit hugging a really sweaty guy (probably a sign that I’d make a terrible basketball coach). The second was how evident the bond between the leader and the followers was that day. It wasn’t an expression of victory, but one of commitment.

Coach K Sideline

Continue Reading…

My favorite annual leadership event takes place each May. It’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast. The seminar features some of the biggest names in all of leadership. This year’s theme was: “Simply Lead.” I hope you got to attend, but if not, I’ve included 12 of my greatest takeaways. Here they are:

CFA Leadercast 2013

Continue Reading…

“Well it’s good to talk with you today, Nathan. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about your strengths.”

Now replace my name with yours. How would you respond?

Fist Pump at ComputerWhen was the last time someone asked you to identify your strengths? Was it in an interview or an application? Were you joining a new organization, team, project, school or program? Maybe you were about to accept a new promotion or a new role with a new set of people. What did you say? Do you answer the same way each time? Do your answers change based on your present circumstances?

If I could share a proven method to discover your strengths accurately, easily and in a quick and inexpensive manner, would that be good news?

Continue Reading…