Sr. Extension Associate, PRO-DAIRY
Introduction Teams and team building efforts are popular buzzwords in today’s work environment. Bringing individuals together in the workplace and getting them to work together as an effective team is a challenge. The sports team analogy is often sighted and sought after in the workplace, but seldom achieved. What is it about successful sports teams that make them function so well as teams? Several observations stand out: 1. The coaches or captains are successful at establishing the same vision in the mind of each team member; that at the end of the season they will be #1 in their league, city, state, or nation. 2. All members share a common team mission or goal; to win each and every game they play. 3. There’s an opponent, or a goal to be bested, and everyone knows clearly who or what it is. 4. Each player has a personal mission and goals that mesh with or complement those of the team; to perform their part of each play during the game to the best of their ability. 5. Each team member knows their position and how their individual efforts contribute to the team’s success. They also know their teammates depend on them. Business owners/managers will experience success in team building and success in their business to the extent they: 1. Have clearly defined organizational mission, vision, values and goals. 2. Clearly articulate the mission, vision, values and goals to everyone involved with the business. 3. Mesh the business’s mission, vision, values and goals tightly into those of each individual so that in achieving individual goals and visions, business goals and visions are also achieved. Think about your business. Is there a clearly identified vision of where the farm is headed? How will the business look or operate in one, two, five or ten years? If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. And, if you can’t clearly describe where you’re headed how can you expect your family members, employees, or agri-service professionals to help you get there? Do you have a clearly defined mission? Why is your farm in business? What do you hope to achieve? Does everyone on the farm ∼ family, employees, and agri-service representatives ∼ know what that mission is? Do they see your commitment to it everyday? Have they accepted the mission as important to them? Does each individual know how their efforts contribute to the mission? 1
Are there specific goals and objectives? Does everyone accept these goals and see how achieving farm goals will help them achieve their own personal goals? Are the goals and objectives translated into work performance standards and expectations for each employee? These are not easy questions, but as we increasingly depend on the talents and efforts of others to make our farm successful, answering them affirmatively becomes ever more important.
Core Values Even though we frequently talk about mission and vision first, the basic underlying foundation for both are our core values. Core values are the principles and standards at the very center of our character, and from which we will not budge or stray. Core values are extremely stable and change only very slowly over long periods of time. Core values form the basis for our beliefs about life, ourselves and those around us, and the human potential of ourselves and others. Values and beliefs form our attitudes and guide our behavior. The behaviors we engage in are what people around us see, along with our skills and actions. Our outer or public shell of behaviors and skills can change rapidly and dramatically through our lives, influenced by our environment and guided by our more stable core values and beliefs.
For some people identifying and communicating personal core values can be a difficult task. Core values are so close to the center of who we are that they tend to be very protected and not shared with others until a personal...