After Gravitt’s Million Dollar Club presentation, PMPs asked him a variety of questions about how to take their firms to the next level. Here are selected questions and answers from that interactive session.
MDC attendee: How do you overcome that one person on the team who won’t play their part?
Randy Gravitt: You hold them accountable. Beyond that, if people do not want to be a part of what you are doing, you might consider that it’s better to have nobody on your team than to have the wrong body on your team. I would rather be short a player. After all, an unengaged employee can drag down the morale, progress and levels of execution with them. Plus, their lack of engagement can serve as a burden to others; when one person is not pulling their weight, the load will often end up falling on someone else. In these cases, we must recognize there are times where we need to invite somebody to leave our team — to offer them an opportunity to go find something that’s going to be a place where they want to be. However, you also must consider their perspective. There have been times where people on my teams have struggled, and it’s not because they had a bad heart or lacked the skills. Many times, they struggled because I was not clear: I did not train them, I did not hold them accountable and I enabled their behavior. So, you might need to first take a look in the mirror.
MDC attendee: What are some tangible ways to make sure your team cares?
RG: After nearly a decade of research studying workplace engagement, we found there are three critical things that lead to an engaged environment. The first one is connection: making sure people are connecting to the vision, connecting to each other and connecting to their customers. When employees feel connected, they are more likely to lean in and be more engaged in what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and who they’re doing it for. The second factor is affirmation. When you affirm the people on your team, their engagement goes up. As a leader, you should constantly be thinking, how can I affirm my people? And, finally, the third aspect is responsibility. It’s an incorrect assumption that when people are given more responsibility, they are going to pull back. In fact, the opposite is true: People want more responsibility. It may stretch them, it might challenge them; but, at the end of the day, it will engage them. When connection, affirmation and responsibility are present, you are positioned to create an environment where everyone cares.
MDC attendee: How do well-trained teams outperform those who fail to practice the skills needed to win?
RG: I love watching Steph Curry play basketball. Many people think he is the greatest shooter that has ever walked the planet. That may or may not be true. He is arguably the greatest shooter that has ever played basketball. However, chances are the greatest shooter who has ever walked the planet never picked up a basketball. It was probably someone who lived somewhere without access to the sport, who had unrealized potential to be great. But, for now, we have Steph Curry to watch, and I am guessing he’s in the gymnasium today. He’s probably shooting free throws, preparing for next year. So, I think you have to practice all the things we talked about today. When teams practice, when teams work together and they are helping each other to do the right thing, the right way, every time, I think you are positioned to be great.