By: The Business Services Team
In part 2 of this Teambuilding series, we discussed that team players are essential to the success of the team. In this portion of the series, the focus is on Team Ownership. The Team Ownership that we are discussing is not the person who has the legal right/title to the team. It is the opportunity for ‘individual’ ownership that each of the team players has. There must also be ownership by the team – not just the ownership of the team.
Kevin Eikenberry writes” Commitment, engagement or buy-in – whatever you want to call – it’s a good thing. One sure-fire way to increase all those things is for people to feel ownership of something. When people feel ownership for problem solving, ownership of the ideas created in a meeting or ownership in their personal or organizational goals they are working towards greater success will occur.“ When people take ownership of anything, they take pride in it, share it with others, and have a passion for it.
For a team to be successful in any endeavor, the players have to own their roles, their contributions, and their involvement on the team. Each of us takes individual ‘ownership’ of our job responsibilities. We take responsibility for the necessary tasks it involves, we do the best we can, engage in it, show its importance, and contributes to the success of the overall team/organization because of it. Each position is owned by someone and each team ‘owner’ contributes to the entire team goal. Taking ownership of our role, whether we write specifications for the new equipment, order repair parts, prepare the budget, repair and maintain the equipment, supply the parts, build the vehicles, develop new technologies, provide administration and business management, or conduct studies; moves the team up in the success rankings.
Think of your favorite sports team, each player has a role and a responsibility to own that role and to contribute to the success of the team, each and every day. Not just for the championship. These team players have and display team ownership. They work at it, are loyal to it, and are proud of it.
We each have ownership on many teams. Every organization that we belong to, work for, volunteer for, or participate in any away with needs team players that will own their piece of the team. Our families, our friends, our sports teams, our jobs, and our associations and organizations will succeed because of us taking “ownership”.
By: Steve Kibler, Fleet Manager, City of Loveland (Colorado Chapter)
Each fleet manager or any manager for that matter has a unique style of leading his/her team. It’s kind of like the three bear’s beds, there are three categories: one is too soft, one is too hard and one is j-u-u-u-st right. The one that avoids or ignores problems is too soft. The autocratic one or the “off with their heads” one is too hard (but this style must be in your ammo box). The manager who earns his teams trust and respect through fairness and integrity turns out to be the just right leader. Which one are you? We are motivated to lead in many ways; through frustration with current leaders; through a will to “fix things” or an inherent need to improve how a service is provided.
My personal motivation comes from witnessing colleagues do it right and wanting to emulate that example of leadership within my own team. Another subtle motivation may be a catch phrase or sage quote by some famous person. I have some favorites I would like to share.
“Worry is interest paid on trouble that hasn’t happened yet” ~David Petersen
“A successful man is one who can lay a solid foundation with all the bricks others have thrown at him” ~David Brinkley
“Being defeated is temporary, giving up makes it permanent.” ~Marilyn von Savant
And my personal favorite:
“Be who you are and say what you feel ‘cause people who mind don’t matter, and people who matter don’t mind.” ~Theodor Suess Geisel (You probably know this author by another name: Dr. Suess)
There are many ways to lead your organization to success but there are exponentially more ways to fail and go backwards. How can you avoid this pitfall; always follow through with a plan until it is completed to your satisfaction or until it fails (the plan, NOT you). If you never fail, how can you or your team know what your limits are? We’ve all heard the saying “two heads are better than one.” Think how much better the dozen or so heads on your team are if you have created a culture of trust. Don’t be afraid to ask suggestions from your team about a challenging project. An unknown author said: “He who does the job knows the job best; trust the people you hired to do the job.” Trust your team to suggest strategies and/or obstacles you may not have anticipated. Then you must lead by decisively picking the direction the team will take and you must define to the team the goals along the journey. Here’s where follow through is so important. Don’t let the project die on the vine. If I may quote RMFMA member Craig Croner, City of Boise “Regularly inspect what you expect from your team.”
Each of us must find our own style of leading. My advice would be to regularly network with your team every chance you can. Attend every industry related conference, meeting, and/or training you can and glean whatever motivation you can steal from your colleagues. ‘Cause those that mind – don’t matter and those that matter – don’t mind.
I even composed a motivational saying of my very own:
“You can’t go through life with one foot on the brake; release your fear of failure; of not achieving excellence; be excited about life and release the brake!” ~Steve Kibler
The FleetPros Blog is written and moderated by the Business Manager with contributions from the membership and Business Services Team.