This blog is a bit outside the norm for our posts. I’m not going to talk Direct Mail, or Data, or Fundraising, or even anything directly related to marketing. Instead I want to provide some first-hand insight on the value of teamwork, and how that propels business, whatever your business.

I’ve always known I’ve been lucky to work on some great teams over the years. Recently I undertook a new project that really required some intensive and short term time investment to get it off the ground. I could do this quite simply because of the team that supported me. You see, I work with some phenomenal people at JR Direct, people who understand what it takes to get a job done, that deadlines can redefine typical working hours, and that at different times, different individuals are going to feel the pressure and be required to play their part.

I thought I’d share some observations and what makes this team, and in general, any team great.

They’re reliable. I can depend on them to be there when I need them, and to deliver what I need from them.

They’re knowledgeable. A good team takes experts in various areas. Each of my team mates are way smarter than me in what they bring to the table, and that’s quite ok. In the end, their knowledge makes me look good, and when I’m the one on the front lines with the client we all look good as a result.

They’re committed. Knowing that whatever it takes has to be done to get the job done. These guys WILL put in the extra time to make sure every element works to everyone’s satisfaction. This can include extra hours or shuffling of priorities, but when the team is committed it just simply works. If certain elements aren’t as committed then fractures can occur and impact the overall team’s effectiveness and quality of the product. Which leads me to…

Focused on quality. I love this one because it makes all the difference to the end product, to the client, and to our track record. When working on bigger projects it can sometimes be easy to cut corners, but as one of my colleagues (and team members) always says “A job worth doing is worth doing right”. A single flaw can have a major impact on the client’s impression of the work we are doing, so it’s good to have a team that is focused on quality.

We share a common goal. Articulating that goal is key. And buy in. When the whole team understands the goal and their part in reaching that goal, it removes the need to micro manage and monitor each step of the way in the process.

serious lack of egos. A team cannot function properly if egos are involved. Everyone needs to be collaborative, to embrace differing opinions, and to be able to choose the right option for the team, not the individual. This means I can be wrong, I don’t have to like it, but as I said above these team mates have a ton of knowledge and skills to offer, so it’s best to factor their opinions as much, and sometimes more, than my own.

They instill me with confidence. This is my favorite part about having a good team. Especially if you are on the front lines, selling to clients or managing the client/vendor relationship. In a sales capacity, it’s important to be able to be able to deliver whatever you promise, like deadlines or custom applications or modifications. If you’re relying on a team, then they have to deliver. When you know your team is ready to deliver, it fills you with confidence, and that comes across to the client.

A team truly is the sum of it’s parts. And when those parts shine, the end result is what keeps your clients coming back for more.