TBS.03.31.16Running a company, division or a team is a responsibility that goes way beyond being the executive. In many ways you are in a parental role. It’s not enough to lay out the path and make the big decisions. You must also nurture your people if you want them to perform at their best. After all, they are spending more time with you, in many cases, than they spend with their own families. They not only take direction from you, but they look to you as an authority figure. A word from you can make a big difference in their personal development as well as their skill set.

And isn’t that what you want – team members who are better this year than they were last year? So what exactly are those words from you that can make all the difference to them and your team’s productivity and your company culture? Just like the gas you put in your tank that gets you to your destination, here is the “G.A.S.” that keeps your team running:

Guidance. Make sure your team has clear and achievable weekly goals. Review them again on Wednesday to make mid-course corrections. Clearly describe to every member of the team what they have to do, and by when, to achieve those goals. Be sure to explain why what they are being asked to do is important to the big picture, the health of the company, the security of their jobs, and ultimately their compensation, bonuses, commissions and benefits. In other words, tie it to sales! Get the deadlines on the calendar. Get involved in helping to remove roadblocks and barriers to communication. Make suggestions and offer help when needed. And then get out of their way!

Acknowledgement. This often overlooked essential is the building block of validation. And validation is what your people want when they are creative, take responsibility, and complete a job well done. We feel that acknowledgment is right up there with compensation when it comes to why they even work for you at all. A heartfelt “Thank You” is always appreciated, but don’t stop there. Do it in writing, be specific about what they did and how it moved the project forward, saved money or made money, and copy the entire team. Public acknowledgement creates more appreciation among team members for their team mates, encourages more of the productive behavior you want, and creates loyalty and tenure.

Support. This is not hand holding. This is not micromanaging. This is being there to answer questions, and to provide the right tools, applications, and services. This is conducting yourself in a reasonable and understanding manner during frustrating times. This is taking it down a notch when things get crazy. And this is standing up for your people when they need it. It’s also interceding on their behalf when they run into the type of contracted or other ‘outside’ folks who won’t work with a delegated person and want you personally on the line. Take those types aside in advance and spend the time to convince them to work with your delegate. Then help your own people develop the confidence and people skills to get the respect they need to get things done on their own.

So when it comes to Leadership, don’t run out of G.A.S.!

Who We Are.

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.