Do you have the right mix?

There are two common questions I’m asked about teams. The first, “How do you feel about being on a team?” Which is a crazy question to me. We are all members of different teams in life – family, sports, religious groups, communication organizations, and especially at work. Being part of one simply means that two or more people are working toward a common goal. Your dealership consists of one big team (all employees) and smaller teams (departments), and individuals are usually on several at once within and outside of the dealership.

If you respond to the question with anything less than a positive response, you indicate you have issues getting along with others. However, if you have never been on a team with a leader who can provide all members with clearly defined goals, you might have a poor perception of a team. Without a clearly define goal, it’s not really a team anyway.

The second question and much more important in my eyes is, “Where do you fit on a team?” It isn’t about would I be a great shortstop (which I haven’t played in many years), it was about the role I would play within the team.

Some individuals are followers. They will do what you ask and expect from them, but they don’t have the skill set to lead. Some individuals are the show dogs. They speak well and often appear as the face of the team. Some individuals are masters at making other team members look great. They are usually detail-oriented people – they plan things out. They look for threats in situations and come up with alternative plans to ensure everyone on the team looks like rock stars.

Where do you fit on the team?

So, why the team discussion? Being asked those questions caused me to look closer at businesses that struggle and businesses that excel, including dealerships. In those that struggle, the teams were lacking the proper variety of individuals. A team of followers without a leader will fail to thrive, as will a team of all leaders struggling to determine who is in charge.

Someone once told me, “All of my managers are born leaders. I wouldn’t hire them if they weren’t.”

My question was, “If all of your managers are always leaders, what is your role?” Shouldn’t your natural born leaders fill the role of followers in your management team because you are supposed to be leading them? So, the question of where you fit is a complex one that depends on not just the team, but the roles of the other members. Where do you employees fit on your team? Do you have the right mix? If you have a team/department that is struggling, maybe you should be looking at which roles are being filled and which ones need to be filled.