Leverage the wisdom and creativity of the team: Give Others the Credit.
Team ownership of ideas is, for many teams, the great untapped resource of sales leadership. Harry Truman may have captured the force of this concept best when he said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
In addition to Truman’s observation, you have to not only not care if you get the credit, but you also have to be vulnerable enough to ask for help in generating the initiative.
Pretending that you never need to ask for help is the ultimate position of weakness as a leader. Being willing to admit vulnerability by saying that you do want and need help from your team is the ultimate position of strength.
You hired great people. Why not use their talents and call the team together for a TEAM STORM SESSION? This should be a positive gathering where everyone can speak frankly. This gives you the chance to evaluate all sides of an issue. As the leader, you may choose to facilitate the session or delegate to someone else.
Here are five steps for conducting a TEAM STORM session.
Step 1: Problem Statement. The initial statement explaining the opportunity, challenge, or problem you are asking the group to help with. Deliver your ask with “How.” For example, instead of saying, “Sales are lousy; who’s going to close something?” ask, “How can we generate X amount of revenue by the end of the month?” This promotes a positive mindset.
Step 2: Background. Provide any information and clarifications that might be needed to understand the problem.
Step 3: Idea Generation. This is all about active engagement, creative thinking, and sharing ideas. Record all the ideas and suggestions and discourage negativity toward shared thoughts. Close out the braining storming portion of the session by reviewing and combining similar ideas. This gives a more defined list of suggestions.
Step 4: Idea Selection. This is where the team votes on the list of ideas. The team decides on one solution they will recommend to you, the leader. If you truly don’t think this idea is viable, now is the time to say so. You have the right to veto any proposed solution but use the power sparingly. You’ve asked the team for their suggestions, keep an open mind, and look for ways to stand behind the best ideas.
Step 5: Action Plan / Next Steps. Now is the time to determine who’s going to do what and when in support of the solution chosen. Use the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) system to determine time-driven commitments.
That’s TEAM STORM. It can transform your team and deliver extraordinary outcomes that drive engagement and buy-in.