Does your team lack cohesion? Do you often ask yourself if your employees are even taking you seriously?
Would you like to transform your “me” culture into a “we” culture?
In his new book, Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver: Delivering a Culture of We, Not Me, former UPS International president and one-time driver, Ron Wallace, reveals how to establish quality employee engagement that builds strong, unified teams for lasting business success.
In the book, Wallace gives several tips on how leaders can build a “we not me culture” and deliver exceptional results.Wallace knows a thing or two about leadership and team building: During a career of nearly 40 years, he served as a UPS driver for six years and eventually became the president of UPS International, leading more than 60,000 employees and overseeing the operations of UPS in more than 200 countries. Drawing on decades of experience leading one of the most well-known and successful companies in the world, in his new book, Wallace shares essential tips for growing the best team of inspired employees to make any business thrive.
Play Your Best Five, Not Your Five Best
Effective leaders know that playing their five best (i.e., most talented) employees can be a mistake if they don’t work well together. To accomplish your goals, Wallace says to identify your “best five”— those who work best together and achieve synergy and chemistry—and put them in the game instead.
However, he cautions that ability still matters. You should do every thing you can to attract, develop and retain great talent; but if you have to choose between talent and chemistry, choose chemistry. When employees combine their efforts and create results that are greater than the sum of their individual contributions, something magical occurs: the entire team benefits and so does the organization.
Wallace says the best team builders are not only masters at establishing trust and respect among teammates, they also create a seamless alignment among team members that is the fuel for achieving the organization’s goals.
Promote Teamwork, Not Superstars
Organizations are successful when people work together as a whole: no heroes, no superstars. Though rewarding team member accomplishments is a vital part of any organizations interpersonal dynamics, Wallace encourages supporting a sense of teamwork over individual achievement.
Helping your team have discipline and the will to push through challenges begins with the proper mindset. Your employees should trust and depend upon each other like teammates, who don’t let one another down when it counts the most.
Be A Leader, Not A Boss
Wallace puts it simply: A boss is not necessarily a leader—and it takes a quality leader to cultivate a cohesive team. Those who believe they’ve earned the right to simply order employees around shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that rank equals leadership, as there’s a difference between “bossing” and actually leading.
According to Wallace, attributes of an effective leader include:
- Strong character, integrity, high energy, competence
- A servant-leader mentality
- Willingness to take risks and to be accountable for their actions
- Ability to work well with people
- Welcoming and encouraging input
- Modesty and desire to give credit to others
- Initiative and acceptance of change
- Vision and focus
It’s OK to enjoy your own accomplishments, Wallace notes, but one of the biggest roadblocks to quality leadership is behaving as if your achievements make you better than others and forgetting that victories weren’t won alone but with the combined talents of every team member pulling together.
As a business leader, you are ultimately responsible for laying the foundation for your organization’s success. In Leadership Lessons from a UPS Driver, Wallace reveals how to foster employee engagement to create a motivated workforce that not only exceeds your expectations, but surpasses their own goals as well.
Kevin Kruse is the author of the bestselling book Employee Engagement 2.0 and the Personal Engagement Personality Quiz.