Success Always Comes from “WE”, Never “I”

For those of you who are not Golf nuts, there is a new sensation on the PGA tour by the name of Jordan Speith.  At the tender age of 22 he has won 7 tournaments and 2 majors, the likes of which has not been seen since Tiger Woods entered the tour back in the late 90’s. 

What does this have to do with your business?  Well Jordan has a formula for success that arguably sets him apart from all of the other pros,  It is something we can also learn from. 

When you listen to Jordan’s interviews, one of which took place after he ran away with the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua Hawaii this weekend, he rarely talks in the first person.  It is never I did this and I did that.  It is always in the third person saying we, our, or us. 

In other words, he defers credit to all of his development and success to his team.  You see, Jordan discovered in the early stages of his career, you have to have a team, or some may call it a family, to succeed and it doesn’t hurt to be humble as well.

Jack Welsh, who was the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric for 20 years, recently wrote about “The number one New Year’s Resolution every leader should make”. He wrote that the three most important metrics to measure a business’s health are:

  1. Employee Engagement,
  2. Customer Satisfaction
  3. Cash Flow

While the latter two are more challenging to change quickly, Employee Engagement is something every leader business owner can control every day whether you are managing one, ten or a thousand people.

Jack Welsh has an unbridled desire to change the world for the better using his unique management practices, which are collectively called “The Welch Way”.  This mantra brings into play the same theory for success as Jordan Speith’s – “The Team”. 

He suggests in his article that Owners/Managers should ask the following questions when thinking about improving their employee’s engagement and I quote:

  1. Has my team really bought into the mission?
  2. Do they understand where we’re going and why we’re doing what we do to get there?
  3. Have I made it clear to them what’s in it for them when we get there?
  4. Am I celebrating their achievements?
  5. Am I coaching them in a constructive manner so that they feel I have their back?
  6. Do they always know where they stand?
  7. Have I given them the freedom and the authority to raise these same questions with their team?

The overwhelming message here is that success is built through the engagement of your employees and their belief that they are part of your team.  The concept of “I” never works because people simply don’t react or won’t perform well to it. 

As business owners, it is important to have and demonstrate confidence in your abilities, but it is your team that is going to get you to the level of success you are looking for.

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