Managing The “I” In T.E.A.M.


Teamwork is crucial for the viability of a business. Slogans have been barked from summer camp to corporate retreats shouting the mantra of Teamwork. Sales, like sports, are intertwined with “I” and “Team.” They are literally Siamese Twins- almost indistinguishable. No team can win consistently without each team member preparing and executing to the best of his or her ability. No “I’s” can sustain long-term success without the aid of their teammates. In the competitive world of sales, there are many peaks and valleys. It takes effective teamwork to not only celebrate the peaks but also manage the valleys. This is where a coach- I mean manager comes into play. In order to build an effective team, each member must feel they are joined at the hip to the overall success of an organization. In the 1999 book titled First, Break All The Rules, Marcus Buckingham wrote one of the keys to having a successful business is for employees to feel they have significance. When teammates- I mean employees feel that what they do each day has a direct consequence on the overall outcome of the business, they are more apt to give maximum effort. In short, what they do matters.

In the profession of sales, the lines of I and Team quickly get blurred because it is like being an entrepreneur (I) inside of an organization (Team), essentially being two businesses in one. As a “sales representative,” she is selling herself to her clients all the while representing her endorsed product. An effective manager is able to celebrate individualistic efforts, at the same time build and manage an effective T.E.A.M. By:

  • Tell
  • Each
  • A
  • Mission 

What is the mission for a sales organization? To identify and satisfy a customer’s problems profitably while personally maintaining the ethics and integrity of the business she represents. When a manager can effectively communicate this belief, a TEAM is birthed.

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