Life is a Team Sport
At Perfect Search, teamwork is at the top of our priorities. It’s one of our company’s core values and one of the core ways we discuss our agency in the sales process. It’s no coincidence that this trait is included in both our company values and our differentiators.
While I’ve always appreciated the power of teamwork, I’ve recently begun to broaden how I define a team and who’s a team member. Life is a team sport, so when you start to see everyone as a team member, your life improves.
Team members can be family, friends, colleagues, mentors, and even acquaintances. My definition of a team member is someone who you positively influence and they positively influence you.
Here are some examples of the teams that have had a significant influence in my life—and they can change the way you think about who’s on your team.
Aside from sports teams, the most common way we define a team is looking to those we work with. Your colleagues and your employees are all part of one team working towards a common goal.
The study of performance based on team size and chemistry has become an important topic as it relates to both individual and company success. I had the pleasure of seeing Patrick Lencioni speak on the topic of teams after he wrote The Five Dysfunctions of Team, which explores the causes of breakdowns in teams and as a result the qualities of a strong team.
I’ve learned over the years how important focusing on building and motivating teams is instrumental to personal and company success. In my opinion, it’s one of the most important leadership skills.
I tend to broaden our Perfect Search team to anyone that has any influence in our company. That includes clients, vendors, partners and other parties that play a role in our success. At our most recent company holiday party, I thanked our core team–and their dates.
Even those who support your team members can be considered part of your team.
I think it’s common for people to view their family structure as a team. One’s partner, siblings, parents, and children provide immeasurable support.
As a single individual, I view my parents and my brothers as a strong part of my team. In fact, I consider my parents the strongest team members I have. After all, if not for them I would not exist. I joke that I was good at math when I was 3 and my parents and their parents deserve all the credit for any positive skills I have.
My brothers have been on my team my whole life. When I was in elementary school, I was in a competition to see which student could sell the most boxes of M&Ms. I started off hot and I began to notice that many of our neighbors would pay me the dollar for the candy and allow me to keep the candy.
It was obvious that being a cute kid helped sales. One day my younger brother and his friends were playing in our backyard. I realized the only thing cuter than me going door to door was my younger brother selling door to door. I told him I would give him free candy if he helped. His friends were also eager to get paid candy to sell candy and my new candy sales team explored the neighborhood.
Thanks to their help, we ended up coming in third in the entire school. That couldn’t have happened on my own and required a rock-solid team of second graders to back me up.
As an adult, I’m constantly learning. This is often fostered by those around me. Teachers, mentors, friends, and family are all part of your team because they care about your growth and well-being. I strongly believe that any success you achieve in life is the result of those that have taught you and positively impacted you throughout life.
As a child, the connection I would develop with teachers was so strong that they were important in developing my morals and ethics that I possess today. I admired teachers who treated students as friends and observed that these teachers often had better results with students. This has shaped the way I manage people in my own life.
I’ve developed strong relationships through organizations that I am a part of, which in turn expands my team.
These include Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), Young Entrepreneur Council, Streetwise and 1871 Chicago.
EO is one of the largest international networks of entrepreneurs in the world. I’m in a forum with 8 other CEOs of other Chicago organizations. We meet once a month for an afternoon to discuss any business or personal challenges in our lives and we offer each other support and guidance. These individuals have become a strong part of my team and help guide me through life.
I recommend getting involved in organizations like the above. They offer professional growth, a new educational perspective, and a new friend group.
Growing your team
My 4 pillars to happiness are foundational to growing my team. I also think of anyone I meet as an opportunity to grow my team, whether it’s a tour guide in Paris or a bartender in Mykonos.
Specifically, doing more, being grateful and positive and helping others are the best ways I have found to increase your team size and the number of people that support you. My success is 100% because of my team.
How does your team impact your life? Tweet us at @Perfect_Search.
Ajay Pattani is a lifelong resident of Chicagoland and is fiercely passionate about his white wine. If he could be a spokesperson for any product, it would have to be white wine. Ajay says if he could be good at one thing, it would be reading minds. If you could read his now, he’d most likely be thinking about white wine.