Being on a team is not enough

It is not enough to just be on a team. We need to be part of a team. There’s a big difference.

It is like being on a baseball team in high school. Just being on the team and getting a high school letter is not enough. You want to be respected and be a part of the team as well as be competitive, score runs, and be involved. It is not good enough to sit on the bench all year and not be able to help the team. We all want to be on a great team, but we also want to be a meaningful part of the team. People need to feel included.

This became ever so clear to me when we sold our private company to a publicly traded company in 2005. After the sale, I was on the team, but was never a part of the team. Sure, I sold hotels and earned income for the team, but I knew that the new company leaders did not accept me as being in the inner circle of the team. It is tough if you are the one on the outside looking in. See, my lifestyle did not match theirs and the things they liked to do did not match mine.

I think in all our hearts we want to find the line of work that we are good at, enjoy, and can contribute to. Success is defined differently in every line of work; it is not that you have to be the best in the world at what you do, rather you need to feel and experience success in your job or your work.

At Hotel AG, everyone is a shareholder in the company because I’ve learned from The Home Depot model, which believes that the person who works in the light bulb section will do a better job if he owns stock in the company. That is our model as well because we wanted everyone that speaks to a client to have a vested interest in doing the best he/she can. The model is real simple, real clear, and it works.

So, in business make people feel like they are a part of what you do as a company and include them in the decision-making process. This stops the gossip and backstabbing that is so prevalent in today’s companies. You don’t have to go to the extreme we did by giving them stock, but a simple inclusion in the decisions that are made makes people feel and believe they are a part of the team. In my understanding, if a person believes they are meaningful to what the company is doing, they will strive to do the best they can. The result is that your clients have a better experience. KT

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