I watched the Masterclass with Anna Wintour recently and it was really enlightening, specifically on the topic of team building. Over the years I have been able to grow in my career with the help of an incredible team and I cannot say enough how important the people around you in life and business are. It’s common knowledge that almost everyone assumes Anna Wintour to be a mean person. We have all seen the Devil Wears Prada. Honestly, hearing her perspective and watching her move in the masterclass, I get it. I actually can relate to her style of leadership. I love her steelo! Then when you look at what she has accomplished within her career, there had to be standards, expectations and clear communication in place to achieve so much.
There is a chapter in her masterclass that is all about having a team that supports you and how important it is.
You have to have a team that:
- Wants to help you grow (and wants to grow with you)
- Can receive and work from direct communication and decision making
- Seek honest feedback
Without these core three things, you and your team are not set up for success.
Anna said, “you have to be hardline” and I agree. You don’t have to massage the message to your team. If the answer is “no”, then tell the team “no”. To often leaders will shy away from or procrastinate in delivering a decision because of how they anticipate the response will be but it’s your job as a leader to communicate clearly, provide explanations when necessary and move on. That will set the team up to receive direct communication and move forward accordingly.
For example, you could want to tell a team member “no” on a specific project they want to work on but you don’t. Then that team member starts to work on the project, brings in other team members for support and now you have half the team working on something that you didn’t want time and resources to go to from the beginning. Because you did not communicate that, your team has lost time, maybe money and a bit of morale.
It’s also just as important to be extremely honest with your team in regards to the work that they are doing. If you don’t like something you have to tell them. Give them a chance to change directions, make adjustments and learn.
IF YOU HAVE TO MICROMANAGE, MAYBE THEY AREN’T THE RIGHT FIT
The one part of the conversation when she said, “I’m not a micromanager,” I had to shout in agreeance. I am not a micromanager either and I would hate to have to micromanage people. It’s one thing if a team member needs help but another to have to completely run behind someone every day with every task. I have had people micromanage me and it annoys me.
CONNECTION IS KEY
I think you should have a team that surprises you often and I’m not talking about with gifts. If you truly connect with your team they should grow to know what gets you excited and want to create things that will make you excited. It communicates how invested they are in the overall vision and how they see themselves helping within the organization.
REQUIRE RESPECT AMONGST YOUR TEAM
Having a team that gets along with each other is vital. They don’t have to be best friends outside of work but there is a certain level of respect that must be there.
Full transparency, Team Shaun T, has been through some things and really has grown together. On our last Europe fitness tour, we had to work through a few situations and decided as a team that no one would speak on another member of the team behind the others back. We will have tough conversations with one another. We don’t do venting to one teammate about another teammate because that does not put us in a great place to be a powerful team.
INVEST IN YOUR TEAM
I’m not great at everything. Not everyone that you hire will be great at everything. Not everyone you hire will be great at every single aspect of that job but if you pay attention you will be able to discover what they are really great at. From there you are better equipped to play to their strengths and support the strengthening of other areas.
BUILD A TEAM THAT WANTS TO BE THERE. LET GO OF WHO DOESN’T
The fact of the matter is you don’t have to work anywhere. You don’t have to work for Shaun T. You don’t have to work for whatever retail company, restaurant, hotel or business. You should push for your team members to be somewhere and do things that they actually want to do. I communicate this to my team upfront. It helps when the people on your team want to be there and want to work on the things your business needs to grow.