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Great Teams Deliver

By Roger Wolkoff

You walk into the nearly completed grand ballroom. In one corner, you see a massive stack of yellow and orange pillows for the new guest rooms. Next to the pillows are the sleek glass and steel work desks you selected for the business center. You make your way over to the corner window opening where yet another forklift of furniture and carpeting makes its way into the building.

"All hands on deck" is the mantra for you and your team. Everyone is available and ready to help - front desk clerks, facilities, sales, marketing, even the hotel manager. Everyone is on hand to put chairs in place, set up end tables, stock bathrooms, and hang pictures. That's what you do when you're on the team to open a new property.

Your role doesn’t matter. Just ask Kathleen who recently helped open a property in Wisconsin. "We all pitched in. Everyone had a part in getting our hotel and restaurant ready for our guests and events." Kathleen is the Event Sales Executive, and she rolled up her sleeves like everyone else. "Opening a new property gave us the chance to make it ours," she says.

While Kathleen didn't necessarily get to drive a forklift, she and her colleagues set the tone for how they operate as a team. Think about the fun and opportunities you can have while opening a new space or refurbishing an old one. You get to make it yours. You and your team have a chance to listen to customers and deliver precisely the experiences they desire.

That's what makes teamwork exciting. Consider what you want to deliver with the outcome or endgame in mind. What do you want your customers to feel when they walk into your lobby? What's the first thing that should capture their eye when they walk into their hotel room? What aromas do you want emanating from your kitchen to entice them into your restaurant?

The phrase "teamwork makes the dream work" gets thrown around a lot these days. However, stop and consider where you would be without a team around you, especially an engaged, collaborative group of people on whom you can rely. When you find yourself stuck or needing a fresh perspective, involve the people around you. You build relationships, and you build trust.

You may be adept at figuring things out on your own; but together, you're stronger, smarter, and savvier. The excitement of working on something new gets the adrenaline flowing. It heightens your senses and awareness. That’s what builds creativity and success.

You've likely seen variations on the theme of breaking out "team" into an acronym and someone getting creative about what the letters stand for. Here are my thoughts. Let me know what you think.

  • Trust - Trust is the foundation on which all else is built. Teams go through many stages of trust and gain it at differing speeds. Be open to forming new relationships and creating new bonds.
  • Energy - Be aware of the energy that you and your teammates bring to a project or activity. Are you high energy or low energy? How do others on your team feel about your goals and outcome? Take the pulse early and often.
  • Appreciation - We like gratitude for our ideas and efforts. We can never say or hear "thank you" enough.
  • Mindset - Have a positive mindset when you embark on a new opening. Put yourself in the place of the customer and think about the experiences they want.

Together you are stronger. What actions will you take on your next opening or grand re-opening to have fun and come together as a team? Who knows, if you ask nicely, they may even let you drive the forklift!

© 2019, Roger Wolkoff
Does your organization, association, or team need help working through change? Are you looking for positive experiences for your employees and customers? If you answered "yes" then you need to work with Roger Wolkoff. He will help you discover how emotional intelligence paired with authenticity improves communication, ups productivity, and positively influences culture.


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