Building a Team Environment (Part 2)

In part two of Building a Team Environment, John teaches the remaining questions leaders must ask in order to assess if they are building a winning team environment. John discusses removing barriers for your team, providing your team with the freedom to learn, and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion. 

During the application portion, Mark Cole and Traci Morrow discuss how to create a team that is both diverse and in alignment, and the challenges that come with being a leader who builds consensus.  

Our BONUS resource for this series is the Building a Team Environment Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below. 


Mark Cole:       Hey, John Maxwell Leadership Podcast listeners. Welcome back to this week's episode. In fact, you have joined us in the middle of a series where we're talking about building a team environment. Last week, John asked us five questions. And if you're a regular listener, I hope that you took time and assessed yourself on the first five questions. Don't fear if you didn't get last week, it's available. Go to where you listen to podcasts, subscribe, pass along to someone else, give us a comment. Let us know how we're doing, how we're serving you, and then take in last week's show. It will help you. This week, Traci Morrow and I are going to come back after John's teaching, and we're going to share some application to the five questions John asked today.

As I said last week, one is too small of a number to achieve greatness. Are you a part of building a winning team, a team that is growing together, that is thriving, that is pursuing the same vision, going in the same direction. That's the goal. Whether you're a leader, whether you're a participant, a winning team is a difference maker. Now, we're going to join John in session and hear him finish out this series on building a team environment. If you have not done so, go to You'll be able to download the bonus resource and you'll be able to follow along with John as he teaches. Thanks for joining us today. Here is John Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  Let's review before we go on. Questions to ask in creating a team environment to win. Number one, do I understand what it takes to be a team? Two, are my expectations crystal clear? Three, do my people understand why what we do is important? Four, does my team define success with their customer? Five, am I holding people accountable for their performance? Let's go to number six, do I seek out barriers and remove them to make their jobs easier?

Two questions a leader must continually ask. Number one, what are the great opportunities with this organization? And number two, what are the great problems with this organization? My brother, Larry, taught me that. He said, "I really don't want to know too much about my companies. " He said, "I really only want to know two things. What are the opportunities? What are the great opportunities?" He said, "That's how you make money. Secondly, what are the great problems?" And leaders are really, what I would call, roadblock removers. And that's what this question's all about. Do I seek out the barriers and do I remove them to make their jobs easier? One of the great things about being a leader is it's highly possible that almost in every kind of a roadblock in a person's life, if that leader is a good leader, they can begin to remove those roadblocks and begin to make it a lot easier for that person to get through some of those barriers. Okay.

Let me give you some indicators that barriers must be removed. Number one, lack of communication. That's always without any question the result of barriers. Number two, we've all been here, private meetings after public ones. If after you meet with your staff, your staff privately meets with each other, you probably have some issues. Three, confusion of roles and goals. When anybody's confused about what their role is to be on the team or what the goal is of the team. Number four, distrust among team members. And number five, attitude issues.

Interestingly enough, yesterday I met with a CEO of a company, and he was talking about a member of their staff, a key executive member, of which that member was not getting good followership because of a level of distrust. So I asked the CEO, I said, "Well, have you discovered what that distrust is in a tangible way?" I mean, it's not enough to just tell me that people don't trust him. Why don't they trust him? And he said, "I think I know." He said, "I think I've discovered." He gave me a very specific thing that had happened. And so I told him how to fix that thing. I said, "Oh my goodness, if that really is it." And he said, "Well, how will I know it's it?" I said, "Well, it's very simple. If that is it, remove it." And I told him how to remove it. And I said, "Within a few weeks, the trust level will go back up." Now, if the trust level doesn't go back up, obviously you haven't yet found out what that barrier is or what that issue is.

I think I gave you number five, attitude issues. Number six, potential greater than performance. And number seven, unwillingness to change. That potential greater than performance. All of us as leaders see that in our people. That's why if we can set up an environment to win, that performance level should increase. In your notes, there's a difference between problem spotting and problem solving. There's about 100 problems spotters to every one problem solver. Isn't that true? Oh, found a problem. Now I have a very hard time with people who can spot problems because I think any idiot can. So if a person says, "I see a problem," I say, "Well dear God. So does everyone else."

Well, set yourself apart. Set yourself apart by not only seeing the problem, but solving it. So for my inner circle executive team, I always had a very simple rule. Please come to me. Tell me about problems. If you spot a problem, let's talk about it. But when you come and tell me about a problem, I suggest that you have three solutions before you give me the problem. In other words, here's the problem. And by the way, I've been thinking about this. This is how I'd solve that problem. And I said, "Before you bring the problem to me, in your solutions to solve it, put yourself in it. How would you solve it? If this was is your problem, how would you solve it?" And when they would come to me as they spotted problems, many times, I'd say, "How would you solve it?" And they would tell me. A lot of times I'd say, "Oh, that's good. It's yours." Now you have to be careful because that will cut down on the problem spotting. If you have to have three solutions to get there.

Oh, creating a winning environment is amazing. One of the things that's always brought great amusement to me, and I say it kindly as a leader, but it always brought amusement because I've got a track record now, quite a few years of leading different people in different organizations. If you're a good leader, you're going to catch this. I know you are in this room, and I think Maximum Impact listeners, you're going to catch this. If you're a good leader, you set up an environment for winning for your team. And it really allows your team to do better than they probably could do if they weren't in that winning environment.

Just as, let me flip that, if you're a bad leader, you've set up such a lousy environment for your team that you put lids and restrictions and chains on them. And they probably are bumping their head against the leadership lid, as you know. And so they're not able to ever produce even what they could produce. So as a leader, you basically set an environment for losing or winning. But if you're a good leader, as you all would be here at this round table, as the Maximum Impact subscribers would be, if you're a good leader, the odds are high that you created an environment that makes it better for people to be better than they would be if they weren't in that environment.

And what always amuses me about staff is how few of them understand that dynamic. So what happens? They leave. They go somewhere else. Many times, they should. Many times it's a promotion for them. I'm glad. But they go somewhere else. You know what I've noticed? Most of them don't perform near on the high level at the next place as they performed under my leadership. And that's what this lesson is all about. Creating an environment in such a way that the people that are on your team, really, they really are better. They really are better than they would be if they weren't on your team.

And can I tell you something? I think the distinguishing mark of a leader is that the people under him or under her, really get better. If you want to see how well a leader is doing, look at the people. The indicator of how well a leader is doing is not looking at the leader. Dear God, look at the people they're leading. Is it better for them? Are they growing? Are they developing? Is it wonderful? Are they having some prosperity, or are they not doing well?

Question number seven, do I give them the freedom required to learn, grow, and deliver? Great question. The law of empowerment, the 21 laws says only secure leaders give power to others. Here's for your notes, if a leader doesn't know his own strengths and weaknesses, he will not hand off responsibilities to his team. That's a fact. If a leader does not know his team's strengths and weaknesses, he cannot hand off responsibilities to his team.

Let me pull out an old illustration. It's in my old book, Failing Forward. In fact, when I was on this point of do I give people the freedom to learn, to grow, to deliver? Do I have an empowering environment? I thought about illustration I had given, and many of you have read the Failing Forward book. That in my Failing Forward book about monkeys and the experiments they did on monkeys. It's not in your notes, but let me just quickly read it.

Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center and suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas. We got four monkeys in the room, pole, bananas at the top. One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat. But just as he got to the top to reach out to grab the bananas, he was doused with a torrid of cold water. Squealing, he scampered back down the pole and he abandoned his attempt to feed himself. Each monkey made a similar attempt, climbing a pole, getting ready to get the bananas, and each one of them at that moment was drenched with cold water. And then after making several attempts, they finally gave up.

Then researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room, and replaced it with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground. The researchers replaced the original monkeys one by one. And each time a new monkey was brought in, he was dragged down by the others before he could reach the bananas. In time, the room was filled with monkeys who had never received or witnessed a cold shower, but none of them would climb the pole. And none of them knew why. That's a powerful illustration of what happens when we don't set the right environment. Either because of what we've experienced or because of what we've heard someone else experience. And we don't allow people to freedom, in this case, to get the bananas, okay?

Question number eight. Do I foster a culture of inclusion and hire people that are different than me? Let me tell you what needs to be the same, and let me tell you what needs to be different. Let's do same. I think this will be very easy. Values have to be the same in a company. I mean, you want to have people with the same values. Vision has to be the same. Commitment to win, commitment to the team, that's got to be the same. Those things shouldn't be different.

So when I'm saying do I foster a culture of inclusion, hire people that are different than me, what do I mean by different? Well, here's what I mean by different. Skills. Skills should be different. We want them to be complimentary skills. There could only be completeness in different skills in our terminology. Different gifts in the body. Two is thinking. You certainly want different thinking. If everybody's thinking the same thing, we're in trouble. Three is experience. You want different experience. This brings a tremendous amount of perspective. Different experiences bring great perspective to an organization. Age, so that you can commit and touch different generations. Backgrounds and temperament. Now just some of the things that need to be different, but do I foster a culture of inclusion and hire people that are different than me?

Question number nine on developing these kinds of teams. Am I a consensus builder? Team leaders genuinely believe that they do not have all of the answers. So they do not insist on providing them. They believe they do not need to make all key decisions so they did not do so. They believe they cannot succeed without combined contributions of all the members of the team to accommodate. And so they avoid any action that might constrain inputs or intimidate anyone on the team. Ego is not their predominant concern.

So here's the leader's challenge. Team work is a constant balancing act between self-interest and group interest. Neither one are wrong unless they get out of balance. There's obvious reasons on the team why we do things that are going to benefit self, but they can't get out of balance. You just got to keep balancing that team self-interest versus group interests.

It's kind of like the two guys that were shipwrecked, they were sitting together in a life boat doing nothing. And at the other end of the life boat, there was a hole in the boat. And people were down there just bailing, just furiously, trying to get the water out. And the guy on the other end of the boat where their hole's not, looked at his buddy says, "Boy, thank God that hole isn't on our end." Dear God, we're okay over here.

You actually get better decisions when you work in teams and when you build consensus. There's just no question about. In the 80s, the keyword was management. You go into a bookstore in the 80s, you bought management books. In the 90s, the key word was leadership. No question about it. Leadership replaced management because managers assume things will always stay the same, leaders assume things will always change. Things were going so fast. Now in this decade, it's team leadership. I have never seen in my speaking a desire in companies for me to come in and talk to them about team leadership like I see now. They understand you have got to build a team. A team of leaders, not just a team to do the work of the organization. Team of leaders.

Question number 10. Last question. In creating a winning environment, question number 10, have I created a caring environment among my team members? You see the first step to take from being a group to becoming a team is caring for each other. That's just very, very true. Chuck Swindoll, wonderful friend, kind of puts a conclusion on this lesson on setting a winning environment for team. He says, "Nobody is a whole chain. Each one is a link. But take away one link, and the chain is broken. Nobody is a whole team. Each one is a player. But take away one player, and the game is forfeited. Nobody is a whole orchestra. Each one is a musician. But take away one musician, the symphony is incomplete." You guessed it. We need each other. You need someone and someone needs you. Isolated islands we're not.

To make this thing called life work, we got to lean and support, and relate and respond, and give and take, and confess and forgive, and reach out and embrace, and release and rely. Since none of us is a whole independent self-sufficient superb, capable, all-powerful hot shot, let's quit acting like we are. Life's lonely enough without our playing that silly roll. The game's over. Let's link up.

Mark Cole:       Welcome back. Traci, I love John's last statement there, let's link up. Is that not a great statement on building a team environment? Not only we, as the Maxwell Podcast listeners, and hey, we're all on a team. We're a team of success and significance driven people trying to change the world together, trying to grow ourselves, become more successful. We're a team, but all of us are on teams. And so that statement that John said, let's link up, I love it. Traci, I'm glad you're back because you are a team builder. You're a part of this team. And we want to build a better team. Welcome. Wasn't that great, what John did today?

Traci Morrow:  So good. It wasn't recording, but we both went, oh, so good, that let's link up. Because it kind of, I mentioned on the last first five is it kind of feels a little bit like you give yourself a self-beating up a little bit. Just going through these and looking at where do I need some growth. And in the safety and security of John's kindness of walking us through that. And I really appreciated your vulnerability last week. And I would like to continue on with that. Just number six, when he said leaders are roadblock removers. Do I seek out barriers? And then he listed seven ways that you can tell that barriers need to be removed. And so some of those, I'm sure we listened to those, I know I did, and thought, wow, that that is something that I both had to work on in the past with my team, but also presently. So were any of those seven, any that you are currently stuck on, or having fun addressing?

Mark Cole:       Yeah. Having fun. What is interesting this week as I listened to it and then begin to apply it, is man, vulnerable moment, but I can see significant focus that needs to happen in certain areas on each one of these seven. We're in a really cool time, a fun time to use your words. We're in a really fun time of reimagining ourselves. Now I would imagine most of us post-pandemic are finding ourselves in that place of redefining, reimagining, building on the realities of a post-pandemic world. And we're trying to get to this next place.

Now we have a couple of other unique factors to us. John's succession, what he and I are working hard on, the belief that we need to be changing the world along with improving ourselves. We have some nuances, but yet I find myself, especially in times of massive transition, I'll get it right in a minute, that the ability to face obstacles or barriers become greater. I think back to two and three weeks ago when we did a whole series on problem solving, how to solve problems. And you guys will remember in that moment, how we were identifying great problems in the organization.

So I would look at this, Traci, and I'd go, man, we have some places where there's a great lack of communication. Just during the two segments that you and I were we're recording today, I had somebody text me and tell me of a private meeting that was happening during this podcast from a public meeting that happened yesterday. And I went, yep. Check that one. We got that going on while I'm recording a podcast here. Confusion of roles and goals. I just spent three hours doing an all staff meeting because of the need for clarity around some matrix ran structuring that we're doing around some reorganization. 26 people in our organization of 148, got a new direct report last week. You want to talk about a time where roles and goals are really challenging. So again, I can go through all seven if you want me to, but I think all seven of them apply, I mean, right now.

Traci Morrow:  I love, honestly, your transparency there. Because when you're listening to a podcast and John teaches for, I don't know, 12, 15, 20 minutes, it's a lifetime of experiences shoved into that little moment. And it can feel like it's an easy step, and that there's maybe something wrong with me as a leader that it's taking time. It's taking meetings that take two to three hours, four times, four meetings. This is our fifth meeting of continually driving those goals and roles home with our team. And we can start to feel like, maybe am I not good at this?

And so I really love that you're willing to share that with us. Because it takes time to do it well, and it takes mess ups in there. And we talked a little bit about, last week, failures that can turn into lessons to make us better as we're continuing to make more mistakes and have failures. And so I really appreciate you doing that. And we talked about number eight, when he talked about fostering a culture of inclusion and hiring people that are different than me. I feel like that's a really hot button topic today. And so what does that look like in your leadership world?

Mark Cole:       Well at its purest form, it looks like people that think differently than me. Or not in its purest form, but in its most relatable form, it is people that have a different background than me, a different culture than I, a different leadership paradigm or perspective than I, and inviting them in and celebrating the differences and collaborating on the similarities. I shared this a couple of weeks ago in a podcast on problem solving. Recently, I had this big opportunity that came to us. I'm telling you this opportunity is so significant, Traci. I can't wait to share it with all of you, but Traci with you specifically. And it's huge.

And I had a followup meeting five hours after the opportunity came to me. I brought in some teammates that would be able to help me make it happen. And I mean, it's huge. And the first response was, the first statement out of one of our teammate's mouth was, "Hey, this is impossible. At best, we can get this done in 24 months. We shouldn't even be having this meeting." Now, there is an opening line for a meeting on an opportunity. Anybody want to try to recover from that one? Literally, I told this story a few couple of weeks ago on the podcast, it took me 38 minutes to undo that one sentence of the opening of that meeting.

Now here's my point. Once I was able to remove myself from the emotion of that, I really appreciated the pushback and the candor of that comment. I didn't appreciate its placement. I didn't appreciate it being at the start of a meeting discussing the opportunity. But I appreciated the context. Because I walked in like, "Hey, I think we can get this done next week. Everybody good? We with me?" And if I would have started the conversation, I would have had just as much detriment to the effectiveness of that meeting as the leader that says, "We'll never get this done."

It matters how we position our optimistic, pessimistic, or realistic opinion in meetings. But it doesn't mean that we need just a bunch of people that talks about how we can get this done next week. We've got to celebrate the differences, and we've got to find a way to include people, not as wallflowers, or as affirmative vote givers, but we've got to have people on the team who has a different opinion, and that opinion is celebrated for what it is.

Let me say one more thing. We're going to do a podcast on this. We are. And this from, I think it was originally a blog. And then he went on and did a podcast about. It comes from our friend, Mike Hyatt. He talks about that diversity is really important in a room because we don't want agreement in a leadership team. We don't want agreement. If everybody agreed with me, it would be a really boring world. We need differences of opinions. And in fact, we need to be okay when we disagree with those other opinions. What is not okay is once everybody has given a perspective, once everybody has had been invited into the conversation, misalignment is not okay. We can have disagreement, and still walk out of the room aligned. We can not walk out of the room with 100% agreement and be misaligned. Alignment will get you off of track much more than agreement will get you off track. When we as a leadership team invite consensus, invite input, and then make a decision, we expect alignment as we walk out together.

Traci Morrow:  Yeah. You'd think almost that point number eight and point number nine would stand almost in opposition with one another. Because one is having people who think different than you and have all these different experiences and thoughts and filters that are different than you, but then as the leader, bringing them to being okay with feeling like you can speak up and we are looking for consensus. But at the same time, sometimes a leader has to make a hard call. And it's not what everybody voted for. It's not a unanimous. I think sometimes consensus can make us feel like it's got to be unanimous.

But as a leader, sometimes you have to make the hard call because you see things from a perspective that your team doesn't see. So while at the same time that their feedback and their different filters add to your decision, you sometimes have to make a call that's opposite of what maybe they're seeing from their perspective. So how do you walk that line of taking their opinion and leaving it open for all different sorts of input and opinions, and then making that call and then making sure that they feel seen, heard, and valued, even though it went a different way.

Mark Cole:       It's a really hard line.

Traci Morrow:  Yes it is.

Mark Cole:       Not for me.

Traci Morrow:  Oh good.

Mark Cole:       It really isn't. For me as the leader, guess why it's not hard for me. I get to ultimately make the final decision. I paid the price. I have been invited into a place to where I feel the weight and the privilege to make the final decision. Now there's good with that, there's bad with that. There's weight with that, and there's freedom in that. And you leaders that are at that senior level, your decision is the buck that stops everything. You get what I just said. There's freedom with that. And there's great weight with that. There's a sense of excitement with that, and there's a sense of dread with that. You get that tension.

But at the end of the day, I go home with myself. And as long as I've stayed congruent with the internal man that I want to be, as long as I've stayed congruent in my values, I can go home and sleep quite well on the days that consensus, somebody else's opinion won, or the decision that I went against everybody and made my own decision. At the end of the day, I can feel good to go home and do that.

Here's the problem that I'm discovering from a new frame of reference, a new vantage point of leadership. I tout consensus leadership. I tout collaboration. And when I collaborate and let everybody come in and they truly believe their opinion, their perspective is right, and I make that decision rather than that decision. When I go right instead of left. And I'm finding my team going, I thought we were collaborating. I thought this was consensus. And I'm going, "It was. You spoke into it. But at the end of the day, I've got to make a decision."

And the times that I make a decision to where the room is not 100% in agreement, or the most outspoken person is not in agreement with the final decision, I'm finding people going, "I guess we're not consensus. I guess we're not collaboration." And I'm in a new place of learning what it feels to be on the other side of my ultimate decision-making. Because that's a new world for me. It has always been typically it's John's decision. We'll go with it. Now, it's Mark's decision, and yet I want everybody to see me as a collaborative consensus-based leader.

Traci Morrow:  What does that language look like? Where it doesn't come across like, hey, I paid the price. Where you aren't having to build yourself up. I'm sure that's a whole nother podcast. But that conversation where you say, hey. Do you have that conversation? I value your opinion. You have helped me. Even though I'm going a different direction, I've heard you. And this is why I'm going there. Do you have that conversation, or does it depend on the situation?

Mark Cole:       I have that conversation right now every time, painstakingly every time, with drudgery at times every time. Because I want our team to know your opinion does matter. And your ability to align, even though the decision we make is not the one you agree with, is really important. It's a behavior, it's an expectation of a collaborative team. So painstakingly, I'm having that conversation every time. What I have done recently, Traci, is I have positioned other people on our team that can be that spokesperson for me. Because how weary does it become when I go, "Hey guys, I paid the price. I ultimately got to make this decision." I mean, how many times can you say that, and not sound like an egocentric maniac? So I very rarely will say that anymore. I strategically allow others to say that for me. Or I let it remain unsaid, and just walk the unpopular road of having to make a decision where there's not 100% agreement.

Traci Morrow:  Which kind of goes back to the team member's role and the clarity from last week. Making sure that they understand from the get go, this is a team where I want consensus, but I will sometimes make that hard decision. Maybe that's just going back and realizing the clarity of understanding that piece. And then as a team member, because I've been a team member plenty of times where the CEO makes a decision, and I would have absolutely not. But I respected him, and I trusted that he saw something that I didn't see. And that even if it went awry, he was going to make it right. And that comes from time, I guess, of earning that trust as a team member with that CEO. And so it's fun to hear... Not fun. It's not fun. It's not fun at all.

Mark Cole:       I like it.

Traci Morrow:  But it's good to hear that you have that same thing. I think people would say, well, Mark Cole doesn't have that because everyone knows John trusts Mark. And he put it in Mark's hands, and everyone trusts Mark. Well, not really because kind of what you talked about with Chris a couple of weeks ago on the five levels. You're at level one with some people. And so I appreciate your honesty in that.

And I think as we wrap up, on that last one, because I think it's a great exclamation point on this entire lesson of how do you create a caring environment. A few years ago, on Live2Lead, we had Cheryl Batchelder, who was the head of Popeyes, the CEO of Popeyes. And she said something that has stuck with me. She said, when she talks to faith-based groups, no matter what the faith is, they typically are good at loving their people, but not great at the bottom line. And when she talks to secular businesses that are not faith-based, they are typically great with performance numbers, and knowing their numbers and having deadlines and all of that, but they have to struggle with caring for their people. That just really stuck out to me. And so how do you, in your environment as a faith-based person in a secular setting, I think that represents a lot of us, how do you create a caring environment among your team?

Mark Cole:       Well, it starts with the golden rule, doesn't it? I mean, do to others what you want done to you. You cannot create a caring environment if you do not care. Now let's talk about creating a caring environment because I can talk about that. Helping you care about others, ooh, that's not even just another podcast. That's a psychological evaluation for you. That's a couch you need to be sitting on and talking to a counselor. That's what I have to tell my 14 year old daughter, Macy sometime when I say, "Macy, just remember, people are dogs too. People are pets too." Because Macy loves animals. Sometimes people are quite the nuisance for her. And I'm not throwing her under the bus. She just really loves pets, and people sometimes get in the way.

But helping you learn how to care is a whole nother podcast. But let's say you do care, but you're so focused on the product or production, or getting something done that you have stopped demonstrating that you care. Well, now we can help you with that because once you do really care, you need to really slow down and pause. And talk about each other's struggles, each other's families, each other's aspirations. You need to start meetings with a sense of how are you doing really? What can I be thinking about with you? We're people of faith around here. What can I be praying for you about? There needs to be a true moment to where you let somebody else and their interest drive your agenda.

So many of us type A leaders feel like every setting, every day, in every environment, it's our agenda that we're driving. Well, let me give you a little bit of help. Stop driving your agenda a minute because you're probably being misunderstood that all you care about is yourself. Let somebody else drive your agenda every once in a while. Let their pain, their problem, their concern, their victory, drive your agenda. That's what I would tell you as it relates to creating a caring environment. Let others drive the agenda of your meetings at times, of your interaction. Let them take a moment and share what's on their mind.

Traci Morrow:  Well, I know our time is about up. But I just want to say here, and I know those podcasts listeners who you hear somebody on a podcast and you wonder, is that really how they are in real life? Or a variety of different thoughts that you might have. But I have to say, before we even start rolling, we get in here. You're busy, I'm busy, we're both type A. But the first thing that we do, and you are so good at this, is asking how are you doing? And you're very present. It's your face. You're not looking off over somewhere else. You're very present, and you really ask it. And when I feel seen, known, and cared for, then I show up differently. And so of course I show up to these podcasts and I want to show up the best I can, but when I feel really cared for and seen by you, and I know that so many people listening who have had an interaction with you.

You're really good at this, Mark. This is something where I learned from you. I do watch you and how you interact with people. I love people too, but I think sometimes, have you ever written a text... Well, this is telling tattling on myself. I've written a text and I get right to the point. And I have to go back, and what I call Traci it up a little bit. Go back to the kindness of me, not just the bottom line of what I'm trying to do in a text. So most texts start out very blunt and business exchange. And then I go back to like, "Hi, how are you?" Emojis, hearts. So it's in there. It's just a learning to lead with that. And so, anyway, I just feel like that's a great exclamation point on this lesson. When he says let's link up, remembering that it's all rooted in caring for the people, like what Jeff Henderson in his book For. We're for people, we're for the organization, we're for making this world a better place. And so I just want to say thanks to you for leading by example in that truly.

Mark Cole:       Thank you. And to all of you that are listening, John has asked us 10 questions that will really help us build that winning team. As I did in part one, last week's episode, I'm going to challenge you again this week to go look at the full 10 and assess yourself. How are you doing? One to 10, 10 being great, one being it's not even on my radar, what are you doing to ensure that you're building that winning team, that you're creating that environment of a team that, as Traci and I were just talking about, care for each other, are concerned for each other? Give yourself assessment.

I'm going to take you one step further. Sit your inner circle, your team, your direct reports down, and let them assess how you're doing in these 10 ways too. Take the show notes from, assess yourself, get the team around you to assess you. Let's build a great team environment. Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion. Remember, one is too small a number to achieve greatness. Let's do great things. Until next week, let's lead, let's change the world together.

4 thoughts on “Building a Team Environment (Part 2)”

  1. John Maxwell continues to be the mentor with the most impact on my life. I will never forget attending the certification in Florida in 2016 on my birthday. I had no idea where I was going to get the money to be there but trusted my faith and it was one of the best decisions I have made. May God continue to bless you and team as you continue the develop leaders around the world.

  2. It seems to me that consensus is the merging of inclusion and differences to obtain the best outcome.
    Great interaction to follow the presentation. Thank you for being authentic.

  3. I’m a new team leader– making the difficult transition from “superior performer” to “superior coach”.
    I have a LOT of work to do!
    It’s the most difficult challenge of my career and I’ve never felt more out of my comfort zone…that being said, I’m very sure that I won’t regret this opportunity to grow.
    Wanted to say how much this podcast is assisting me!!
    Mark’s candid sharing of his uncertainty as a new leader himself, and how he struggles with the fact that his team is watching him work out his own style and clarity made me very emotional.
    It reminded me that I just need to give us all some time, and that my team (and I) will find our way.
    Thank you!!!!

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