From my experience, there are 3 keys to building and managing a winning team. Ironically, these keys also apply to marketing.
1. Make It Personal
Forget the phrase “treat everyone as equals.” Finding out what makes each team member ‘tick’ is crucial to determining how to craft a message that best motivates. The best managers understand we’re not all the same. You don’t have to be ‘buddy-buddy’ with everyone on staff, but to get the most out your team you have to know the puzzle pieces you are putting together. Likewise, the best marketers identify their target audience and create messaging that is most likely to yield a high return. Custom, personalized messaging from management is more likely to produce the desired result. After all, we all like that feeling of being catered to, right?
2. Over-Communicate Your Message
Be candid and frequent in your team communications. You want to avoid making the assumptions that team members know more than they actually do. This perception error leads to details being unattended to. Marketers meanwhile are looking at building fully integrated campaigns that surround a consumer. Research has always shown a correlation between frequency and recall of an ad campaign.
3. Build A Coalition
Seek the help of respected team members to keep positive momentum of what you are trying to accomplish. These individuals are like a manager’s extra eyes and ears and should advise you of any disconnect between you and other team members. They should also provide extra leadership and sometimes assist in motivating hesitant team members. In marketing, these folks are called brand ambassadors. They believe in your product/brand so much that they aren’t shy to share that enthusiasm with others. Many employees aren’t comfortable being a leader, so they follow. You increase your chance of building a loyal following when your message is being echoed by other voices.
I have practiced these 3 techniques and have found them to be effective. In fact, this list came about after evaluating what I did wrong in my first few months as a manager. Baseball manager Tony LaRussa stresses personalization and over-communication in his book One Last Strike. My point is this: managers are in the sales business. The selling of ideas, that is; but, the best ideas mean nothing if they aren’t communicated properly.