Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Motivating Individuals to Work as a Team

Guest blogger: Tom Rancich

Question from Nancy in NC: So, you and Alden are obviously great motivators. SEALs are all about teamwork. I would never have started an exercise program without the external motivational push, or stuck with it, without the initial reinforcement of the group. Any tips on team building and motivation? How do you take a group of individuals, with their own self interests and personal goals, and motivate them to work as a team? I'm not referring to exercise here, but more team building at work or in a civic club situation. Pretty broad question I know, but I have no doubt you can whittle it down to size. I always look forward to your posts.

The very first thing to do is to define what your organizational needs are. Very few organizations actually need a true team, or a least a team as I choose to define it--(Team- A group of people who have undergone advanced/ specialized training and been specifically forged into a highly committed, capable, mission specific, performance oriented operational entity).

But rather they need to improve their group performance (again, as I chose to define it. Group- A task oriented compilation of people based on individual skills relative to the projected skills required). Now the reason I define things this way is that I assert that the dictionary definitions are inadequate to properly define the future requirements of the team/group and thus makes achieving that status highly unlikely. So the first thing that an organization really needs to do is clearly and accurately define what are their

1. Goals
2. Mission
3. Vision
4. Critical values
5. Organizational imperatives
6. Organizational philosophies

From that start you will have defined the type of people and the type of interaction/communication you need. It is a lot of work, but this will also clearly show how people are to be and most importantly, the benefit to the individuals for being that way.

I have long believed that all SEAL training and operational successes come down to two simple critical values that all SEALs must possess: Never quit, Never leave your buddy. That is the bedrock foundation of everything else we do.
Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business that seeks to employ the highly trained and motivated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for work in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology. Their company contributes proceeds to two worthy causes: a fund for the development of adaptive technology that will allow disabled veterans to pursue their desired career path and the EOD Wounded Warrior Fund.

Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership and team building, often as a motivational speaker, in addition to being an expert consultant to the entertainment industry.

Alden Mills and Charlie Mike blogger Tom Rancich served together in the Teams.

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