◗ Clarity of purpose. Set clear and
reasonable goals and priorities, and
be sure that resources and incentives
are sensibly aligned with them.
◗ Independent thinking. Encourage
team members to respectfully challenge tradition and the status quo
on all processes and procedures,
especially those which involve valuable customers. Be open-minded to
differing points of view, and work
hard to get to the best pragmatic way
to do things. Discourage obedience;
obedient team members have limited
◗ Appreciation. Celebrate significant
accomplishments and be sure that
team members feel appreciated for
their hard work.
◗ Empowerment. Allow those who
have demonstrated good judgement
to make decisions and have some
◗ Respectful resolution. Have a process
in place for healthy and constructive
◗ Connection. Constantly invest in
relationships with customers and
colleagues. Tune in, engage, and connect with people. Competitors are
routinely looking to lure away your
customers and team members.
◗ Active mentoring. Encourage continuous learning and growing. Plan
on winning the gold in the years to
If you’re passionate about maximizing
results and winning the gold medal, it may
be time to do some things differently. TSL
Joe Accardi is the head of new business
development of People’s United Bank’s
ABL Division. Feedback welcomed:
of a sports nutritionist, understanding the importance of maximizing
the nutrient intake from all calories
consumed. On weekends, he watched
championship races on You Tube, and
studied the racing strategies of the
gold medal winners. He made time to
read about the typical mental stress
of runners trying to break time barriers and about the importance of
remaining emotionally poised before
and during races.
So what happened during their senior year on the track? Gerry improved
his time by six seconds and finished
third in the conference championship.
He was delighted that he took home
the bronze medal.
Evan improved his time by 15
seconds. He easily won the conference
championship and his time qualified
him for the state championship meet.
He was one of the favorites in this big
race and his competitors knew that
he was both physically and mentally
sharp and would be tough to beat.
Evan entered the state championship
final extremely confident, knowing
that few, if any, competitors had
prepared over the last year the way he
did. Evan won the gold medal.
What kind of an athlete are we?
As you think about the future of your
team, you may want to ask, “What kind
of an athlete are we?” Some incremental
change here and there, resulting in some
moderate improvement; is a bronze
medal good enough?
Or are you taking a serious look at
every aspect of your business and confronting issues that will likely keep
you from winning the gold medal at
the state championship meet?
Over several decades of observation, I have come to believe that the
following points are the some of the
most important in building a culture
for gold medal performance.
Gerry and Evan were teammates on the
high school track team. They competed
in the same event, the 1500 meter run
and, as juniors, posted very similar, very
respectable times. After their junior
year, they both talked about trying to
improve their times and giving it their
best in their upcoming senior year.
Gerry thought about the training
he had been doing, and decided to do
more. He increased his daily running
time from 45 minutes to 60 minutes,
which included distance runs and
interval training on the track. He was
confident that this increased training would put himself in a position to
improve his performance.
Evan had the same idea about doing
more in his senior year to improve
his time in his event. He continued
running 45 minutes a day, like he did
during his junior year, and like Gerry,
varied his training from a straight distance runs to interval training on the
track. In supplement to this running,
Evan, in the morning before school,
was in the weight room three times
a week, building strength. On three
other days of the week, Evan practiced
yoga, knowing that such activity would
improve muscular flexibility and thus
minimize the chance of injury during
his training. He also sought the advice
revolver TSL OPINION COLUMN