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Team Member Or Partner

Joe Kiedinger

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- Putting it in perspective -

Through the years, the word “team" has become a cliche representing the whole organization. “We work as a team. " Or, “Our team members made all this possible. " “Team" is used to show appreciation and belonging. Why? It's been proven that Gen Xers need to understand the big picture and see how their efforts contribute to that picture and its future.

Do you remember what it was like to be on a sports team? I recall my years playing football in high school. I had played my whole freshman year and part way through my sophomore year when I decided football wasn't my thing. I liked backyard football, not the organized and structured approach to football. “Practice? But that takes work!"

Sophomore year our “team" was doing very well. My “team" had a winning season and the parents and fans were thrilled. I was so proud to be a part of that “team. " Do you see where I'm going here? I HAD MADE NO CONTRIBUTION WHATSOEVER!

The workforce is like this too. The problem with using “team" as a metaphor is that it allows non-contributors to sit on the bench while the stars win the game. Everyone pats everyone else on the back, and the benchwarmers talk big to try to justify their presence in the program when deep down inside they're wondering when someone will confront them with the reality of their lack of contribution.

I think of my staff as partners in the business. When someone is a partner, they contribute. Everyone on our staff has a valuable role in this agency's success. Even our intern has been assigned a specific piece of our process that if not done accurately would collapse the very system we have put in place to create a positive consistency in our billing process.

A partnership mentality creates awareness of one's value and contribution to the big picture and, if someone is not adding value to the organization, they are replaced. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, purged 10% of his staff every year. Everyone knew that the bottom 10% would be gone the following year. To some this sounds like a negative culture? Au contraire.

The partnership approach gets your people from the neck up. Everyone wants to be part of something great and they want to know that what they're doing truly matters. Start creating partnerships with and among your associates and reevaluate your “team" culture

Joe Kiedinger is Brander in Chief of Prophit Marketing, a unique and vision-driven marketing organization that helps small to medium-sized business succeed by adhering to the Prophit Marketing System. The Prophit Marketing System is a process based approach that combines corporate culture with strategy and finally advertising. The emphasis starts with leadership and flows from there. Joe's message has been heard by many through his unique Prophit Marketing Road Show, an entertaining informative presentation that leaves audiences with an action plan for success. Joe also authors Wisdom on Wednesday, a weekly email newsletter which will enlighten and challenge you to get the most out of your marketing efforts. Visit to learn more about the Prophit Marketing system or to subscribe to Joe's weekly email newsletter.


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