two businessman puts puzzle

Your Number 1 Priority: Teamwork

The results of a team are greater than the sum of the parts.

In your professional life, working with forming developing and creating a high-performing team is your number one priority. If our goal wasn’t to work together with a team, to create something greater than what each of us can do individually, then there would be no reason for us to incorporate and to work together.

So many people focus on vision, strategy, planning, tactics, execution, and forget that each and every one of those things is nearly impossible without great teamwork and high-performing teams.

Those who focus on execution may have a leg up because they realize that to execute, to truly execute, you need the entire team going in the same direction. But high-performing teams embrace the concept of teamwork as their number one important item to focus on throughout the entire experience of work.

Teamwork is working together, growing in the same direction, collaborating with others, and ultimately generating results that exceed the sum of the parts. Great teams have been documented to go through multiple phases of collaboration.

Many of us have heard about the forming, storming, norming, and performing lifecycle of a team. But how is it that you expedite that process? How is it that you take a team deliberately from one step to the next?

Let’s look at four ways to focus and build your number 1 priority, teamwork.

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Night view at St. Peter's cathedral in Rome, Italy

How I Got “All the Way” Away on Vacation

I just got back from the longest trip away I have ever taken. I was in Europe for ten days with my wife. The first two days were spent visiting our 3Pillar office in Romania. The balance of the time was spent on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi with a nonprofit organization that I support.

How was it that I was able to get this time away? How was it that I was able to break away and get away to refresh myself?

Not only was I away physically, I was away mentally. I was able to check out and immerse myself in the time with my wife and my pilgrimage and with an organization that’s close to my heart.

Here’s how I managed to get “all the way” away on vacation…and how I think you can, too.

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Talk

Four Tips for How to Communicate Effectively in the Workplace

Communication is hard, especially when you’re communicating to an organization. How do you communicate effectively in your workplace? Here are four tips I’ve found that I use as principles for my communication at 3Pillar.

Communication within 3Pillar is especially challenging for me. Not only is it a large organization of over 600 employees, but there are multiple cultures, many types of people, and various demographics. It is probably greatly more diverse than most organizations. We have offices in five different cities in the U.S. and four different countries throughout the world, all with varying backgrounds.

For example, we serve India and Asia, Romania in Eastern Europe, the U.K. in Western Europe, and then five cities in the U.S.

Those cultural differences alone make it difficult to communicate effectively.

I’ve found over the years the principle that you have to communicate seven times in seven different ways is very true, yet I’ve also found that some simple guidelines can really help to optimize communication.

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Take Ownership

Take Ownership, Knowing It’s NOT a One-Man Band

So many people want to have ownership, and that makes sense. Economy, ownership, and authority are key aspects of advancement. They’re signs that you are progressing.

However, one of the big mistakes a lot of people make is to assume that when they take ownership, it means that they don’t need help.

A lot of people rightly delegate to those who report to them. The big mistake they make is that they block out those who are close to them as they get more autonomy and more responsibility, along with the authority that naturally follows. They block out their peers and possibly even their managers, their leaders.

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Female Climber

Building Trust in Your Teams

There’s a fundamental need for trust in every organization. By building trust within your organization’s teams, you can:

learn to have healthy debate, deal with issues and topics, and get to team-built solutions.

This also helps hold people accountable. If there’s trust, people are much more willing to hold you and your team accountable. Being accountable to each other is important.

One way to build this trust is by having people work toward a common goal or mission. One way I’ve found to build trust and teamwork within an organization is to put people on a mission.

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Finding Joy in What Others Love

Finding Joy in What Others Love

So often we get caught up in being miserable having to do things for other people.

We all know the jokes that go around about the men who have to go shopping with their wives. Or how about the women who put up with men and their love for sports?

One of the lessons I’ve learned in my own marriage and family over the last few years is finding joy and learning to love what those I love love.

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businessman hand stop dominoes continuous toppled

If You’re Not Failing, You’re Not Making the Right Decisions

Recently one of my senior leaders, who I’ll call George, was responsible for an initiative that didn’t exactly turn out like we all hoped. In fact it was less than impressive results, though it wasn’t a total failure.

George was the first to take responsibility. He held himself accountable, stood up, and said, “I take responsibility and I will fix this issue.”

But along with that, George also wanted to make sure that he was held accountable in a more serious way for the actions that were taken and for the lack of results. He was looking for some sort of punishment.

My response? Leaders don’t avoid adversity or even failure. One of the signs of a great leader is how they handle that adversity and how they move forward.

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Father and Son Play Catch

A Case Study in the Integrated Life: Work Life Balance While Traveling

One of the greatest challenges for any leader is to live an integrated life when their responsibilities require travel.

I was recently faced with this challenge.

Generally, I try to limit my travel to every other week. My goal is to be gone no more than three days (two nights), unless, I am traveling overseas. I almost never travel on weekends.

Last week broke all of those rules. A commitment I have as CEO collided with a commitment I have to one of the charities I support. The first half of the week I needed to be in LA for a conference. The weekend required me to be present for a board meeting and the committee meetings that preceded it.  I was on the road from Tuesday night through Monday afternoon.

On Thursday I received a one sentence email from my 11-year-old son:

“Hi Daddy I am super nervous is about tryouts I want you to be here for them”

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Why I'm Taking My Online Presence to the Next Level - David DeWolf

6 Reasons I’m Taking My Online Presence to the Next Level (and Why You Should, Too)

Several months ago I committed to taking my online presence to the next level.  This was a deliberate decision and one that I didn’t take lightly.  Investing in building a platform requires a commitment of personal capital and time.  It also requires an emotional investment and a willingness to put yourself out there.

So why am I doing it?  Because to be an effective leader in today’s business world, it’s required. Here are 6 reasons why I’m convinced developing a strong online presence is the right thing for my business — and I’ll bet most of them apply to you as well.

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