Tag Archives: Team Building

Band of Bosses is a blog dedicated to the best practices of leading with biblical principles. Here we hope to share experiences and learning’s with a diverse group of leaders from all industries. We hope to band together to share a wealth of information on subjects ranging from strategy to finances to motivation to training, from corporate to military and family.

 

I look around every day and see people who are talented, intelligent and fully capable of making an impact around them but in reality how many people actually make an impact? If you think about everyone you know, how many can you honestly say is making a difference right now? I would venture to say the number is quite low, and even among the people making an impact it’s quite limited. That’s why when somebody actually does make a huge impact it can be quite astonishing. At the same time, have you ever met anyone that’s made a huge impact that doesn’t have a great story? A great story is essential to a life of impact and purpose and the only way to get a great story to go through great suffering. Here are three keys to making an impact through joyful suffering:

 

Embrace The Suffering - When I was young I read James 1:1-4 2Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

           To be honest I didn’t understand this scripture very well because I never learned      how to embrace the pain and be ok with it. How can anyone be alright with suffering and actually find joy in? When I learned to let it hurt, really hurt down deep without trying to talk myself out of it, distract myself or even tell myself it would be ok I learned a valuable lesson. You can only grow and move forward by letting the pain in, change you, mold you and allow you to move on from it.

 

Learn From The Suffering - After letting the pain do its work without getting in it’s way by running to alcohol, smoking or talking your way out of it, it’s time to start reflecting on the issue. Ask yourself:

What am I supposed to learn from this?

How should I change?

What is God trying to tell me?

When you can answer these questions you will have learned a valuable lesson. It’s important not to skip this step because those who fail to learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.

 

Let The Suffering Change you -Many times this can be the hardest part because it takes true humility to let your suffering permanently change who you are. It’s an acknowledgment that the way you were was not good enough and even the way you are changing will most likely still not be good enough. When you are humble enough to accept these changes you will grow like never before. This growth is what will enable you to make an impact on others, to change lives and to become the person you were meant to be. We are constantly being refined in the fire of life, those who allow their suffering to mold and change them will come out a masterpiece while those who fight the fire will eventually be consumed by it.

 

After going through all three of these steps, which can take days or weeks it’s easy to be joyful, enthusiastic and ready to conquer the world. But it’s the man or woman that can be joyful and thankful for the trials while it’s happening that will truly have an impact in this world.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Out Of The Ashes – Resurrecting a Struggling Business

There are many factors that can lead to a business struggling to survive. Change in consumer attitude toward your industry or product or change in the overall economy either up or down are a few macro reasons and can spell the death of your business, but the majority of time a business fails is because it’s lost it’s first love.

 

Remember when you first started your business. you didn’t know if you would make it but you wanted your business to stand for something.  You were passionate and felt like your business did it better than anyone else. Then you got big and things changed, new people came in that do not understand your vision or love for what you do and it became more about compensation and health plans than it did about being the best in the business.

 

Before you know it life’s worries have made you forget why you got into business in the first place and that’s when things go downhill. Sometimes it’s drastic and unrecoverable but other times it’s more subtle and slowly degrades your business, product and pride in what you do at your business over time. Your baby has become a millstone around your neck with little to no options of getting out. In short, you have forgotten what got you there in the first place and you’ve lost your first love.

 

Is there hope for you and your business?  There is if you do these 3 things..

 

1. Get back to the philosophy of why you started your business in the first place and train your employees on it as well. If it’s sports uniforms, spend meeting after meeting drilling into the heads of your group  that you are here to deliver the best uniforms and the best service the customers have ever seen. Make sure they know it’s not just about making money but more importantly, it’s about making the customers ordering experience amazing while giving the athletes a uniform that will make them confident every time they hit the hardwood or the field. Your employees should be proud of what they do and sell and have the right reasons for working there. If someone does not get on board with your vision, let them go. No matter how good they are at their job you can’t have a cancer destroying your vision.

 

2. Do the things you did at first. What was your niche, what made your company unique? whatever it was get back to doing it. Maybe you own a bakery and when you started you stressed that anything your customer wanted, you could make it. This made you prosper but as you got bigger you realized the profit margins were better with simple or cookie cutter products that didn’t require as much customization so you went in that direction. That’s great, but you have to remember what made your clients loyal in the first place and make sure you still offer whatever it was that got your business off the ground in the first place. Before you know it your customer retention while be skyrocketing once again.

 

3. Start over with your personnel. I eluded to this in point one, but it’s important enough to mention all on it’s own. Everyone has to be sold out on your vision and where you’re going. Hiring good people is a constant need so you should always have an employment ad out with one or two people in waiting in case a current employee leaves or loses the vision of your company. Get rid of all clock watchers and unmotivated employees. An unmotivated employee is a like a virus in your company that can spread from one person to another and undermine everything you’re trying to accomplish.  When you do have a good employee lift them up, pay them what they are worth and keep them in the loop so they stay a good employee. If you’re struggling with paying people more, just think how much it will cost you to lose one of your best employees and train someone new. I’m sure you will find it’s better to just pay them a little more money to keep them happy.

 

Your business can be great again and will be great again if your remember your first love and do the things that made you great in the first place. Don’t let the thought of quitting enter you mind and have faith in what makes you unique. Before you know it you will be back on your feet and loving what you do all over again.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

There are hundreds of sure fire ways to ruin your business, but there are a few things that the typical well meaning but ignorant small business owner unknowingly commit. In offices with a few employees, often times owners and employees alike start creating a family atmosphere, which is great but can also be a double edged sword because well, as we all know, families are normally dysfunctional.

Listed below are 11 great ways to wreck your business!

 1. Hire a consultant that knows nothing about your business and turn the reigns over.

 2. Hire employees that are okay with lying and cheating.

 3. Take lots of vacations and post pictures on Facebook of your amazing adventures for your employees to see.

 4. Act like you know it all and be unapproachable.. usually reminding them at least once a day how great you are helps too.

 5. Publicly criticize or put your employees down (always a crowd favorite).

 6. Delegate everything to the point you have no real function in your own company.

 7. Talk crap about ex employees that current employees actually liked. 

 8. Hire people that don’t fit in with the people you have and then keep them just long enough to ruin your company chemistry.

 9. Keep your office door closed all day while at work so people know you are more important than they are.

10. Share every confidential and proprietary information with your employees and don’t be a paranoid fool.

 11. Never, under any circumstances, listen to the advice of the people that love you (especially not your wife/husband)

 At the end of the day, your business is your livelihood. You are the owner, the CEO, the HR department,  and PR Department. Govern yourself accordingly.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

On Valentines Day, don’t forget to “love your employees”. It’s easy to treat Valentines Day just like any other day but if you don’t do something special for your employees today, you will have missed a golden opportunity to make an impact in their lives. Yes it’s corny and yes it’s commercialized,  but it’s a harmless excuse to show some appreciation to the people who you have entrusted your livelihood with. Here are three appropriate and thoughtful ideas:

 1. Hallmark hits the heart - That’s right, write your employees cards letting them know you appreciate all they have done to make your company great and don’t make it generic. People can smell generic a mile away so make sure you think about something they’ve actually contributed to the company and don’t be afraid to mention that you have great plans for them in the future. Hope is the most powerful tool!

2. Candy it upCandy is a fun and easy way to encourage your team. Chocolate for the ladies and swedish fish or sour gummies for the guys. At least that’s the way I roll, you may not care but I feel weird giving another dude chocolates.

3. Flowers for her - Here’s one that when done right is great, when done wrong can be very uncomfortable. It’s a great idea to get some flowers for the office and if you’re really in the Valentine mood you can get each of the ladies a single rose (pink is a safe color). What you don’t want to do is get a dozen red roses for the cutest girl that works for you and a piece of chocolate for everyone else. The only exception to the rule is when the cutest girl that works for you happens to be your wife. That’s right, that’s how I roll….

If you haven’t done any of these things yet it’s not too late, run to your local grocery store and make sure your team feels loved today!

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd is married to the cutest girl in the office and he did give her a dozen red roses and a box full of chocolates, which their employees ate, along with the other chocolates and candies he gave each of them personally:-) Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.
 

Running

7 Good Excuses To Spend Your Company Money

In the world of small business where we don’t have the luxury of multi million dollar operating expense budgets, we have learned to pay close attention to where every dollar goes, what are the “need to have’s” versus  the “nice to have’s”. Because of this chronic cost consciousness, what owners and managers often miss is that there are a few expenses that not only justify their existence in their annual P&Ls but generate an intangible return on investment that impacts all business functions.

I am talking about having fun! Think about extraordinary team building activities that will blow your employees away. There is no faster way to build camaraderie and teach real life lessons of success, failure, humility, teamwork, perseverance, focus, planning and strategy than actually engaging in activities that require them. So here are a few of my favorites:

1. Take them to a gun range - Say what!? Yes that’s right, a gun range. Obviously if you employ people that, eehemm, wouldn’t be allowed in a gun range then this would not work.  Assuming you have a team with no criminal record or other issues, this is a great team building activity. Many people love going to the range on their own, so this is a good chance to take them to the range and let them show off. Many times there is a person that always wanted to go but never had anyone to go with so they never did (they generally will be the most excited). I recommend having competitions and prizes for “best shooting”, “rookie of the year” (for the newbies) and “most improved” for the guy or gal that is horrible at the beginning but gets better. Your team will love this out of the box activity and create great memories.

2. Sailing - Sailing is a great way to build teamwork. If you live anywhere near the water, taking your team on a sailboat and learning how to catch the wind and take off can be exhilarating.  If you have a few people that actually know how to sail you may want to consider renting Hobie cats, dividing your team up and having a race.  It’s pretty simple, just assign a Captain for each boat (usually the guy that knows how to sail), let them pick their teams and off you go. The winning team gets free lunch and beer  after the race paid for by the losing team or teams!

3. Mud Run - Mud runs are one of the most popular races today. They are fun, dirty and create great memories. The best part about it is that the whole team gets motivated to work out during the weeks leading up to the race, which is never a bad thing.  With the way insurance rates are going through the roof, keeping a fit and healthy team is always a bonus. Again, it is always a good idea to hook the winner up with something afterwards, even if it’s just a beer.

4. Paintball - The first time I took my team paint balling, I was worried some of the ladies would not take to kindly to being shot at.  Boy was I wrong! Not only did everyone love going to war with each other for bragging rights, but the most fanatical competitors where the ladies!   They ate it up and wanted more when we were done. Since then I try to have at least one or two paint ball outings a year and they have never failed me yet.

5. Go Skiing - Every company has leaders and this is a “leader” activity. Even Jesus had his special 3 apart from the 12 and so should you.  Money permitting, I like to take my leaders skiing because it’s the best way to show them they mean a lot to me. If you rely on people to make your business go, then you will have to do more than give them a bonus twice a year to keep them loyal. The key to keeping good employees is doing things for  your people they wouldn’t normally do for themselves. 

6. Four wheeling - There are many places that do guided ATV tours with either go cart style vehicles with roll cages or 4 wheeling ATV’s.  This is another one of those activities that’s a lot of fun but is not something many people would ever do on their own. Nothing bonds a team faster than getting dirty and muddy together!

7. Beach Rental - Renting a house on the beach will help your stressed out team unwind and relax. Personally when I do this I tell them to go ahead and bring their significant other but unless they are married they have to sleep in separate rooms. If I’m paying I make the rules! I’ve never had a problem with this and it keeps things professional even while relaxing on the beach and letting life’s worries pass by you

I have never felt like spending on fun, coupled with some strategic planning or plain old bonding was a waste of money. What usually happens is everyone goes back motivated, more inclined to go out of their way and help another team member even if they do not have to, or just more pumped up to work and be part of a winning team. If you stay consistent and learn to practice this wisely, you will see your bottom line grow slowly but surely. Work hard and play hard, it will never get old.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.

Author’s Note: Watch out for a follow up article in the next few weeks about Travel and Entertainment Tips and Secrets that Do Not Break the Bank.

Key To Keeping Employees

Owning a business or leading a team can be one of the most challenging things you can do, but it can be fun and rewarding if done right. I always say I’d take the worst day in my life as a business owner than the best day I had working for someone else, and I say this because for the most part (since I got to choose the industry I want to be in-sportswear), going to work has always felt like a lot of fun, instead of a tedious obligation.

It is easy to take for granted that my team members may not feel all the excitement and vision I have for the company. One of the biggest yet seldom addressed pitfalls of a small business is the psyche of the team members and how they feel about you, the company and the brand. I have learned over the years that pre-maintenance is a lot easier than damage control so in order to keep my office up and running on all cylinders there are 7 things I like to do:

1. Have a plan and write it - Sounds so simple but one of the biggest failures of small business owners is that you have dreams and ambition but it doesn’t make it on paper. This leads to constant changes, instability and employees losing trust that you’re the right person to lead them. Nobody wants to be lead by someone who changes their mind about the direction of the company on a whim (I’ve learned this the hard way). You may have a ton of brilliant ideas and in time you will get to them but remember you must first “plan your work and work your plan”.

2. Communication - Nobody will tell you that they like meetings but it’s vitally important that you have at least one scheduled each week to talk about where the company is at, what direction the company is headed and at least one personal victory story from the week before.  Personally, I like to start my meetings by casually talking about the weekend events and really try to get the team involved. When you are meeting with 12 and under this shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish; if the group is larger you may have to be a little creative. Next we go over each team members highs and lows of the previous week so we can learn from each other and finally we cap it off with this weeks expectations; it’s simple and to the point.

3. Food - Everyone loves food and there’s no quicker way to get a group moving and motivated than bringing in something delicious for them to eat before your meetings or during the week when you feel the momentum has shifted away from what you want. Every once in a while I’ll go out and buy each person the candy of their choice or just pick up a big bag of assorted candy and put it in a bowl… Be careful of candy coma (yes, this has happened to the office before). Also, never underestimate the power of freshly brewed coffee in the morning.

4. Games, games, and more games - I own a sportswear company so games come easy. We have office brackets for the NFL and NBA playoffs, March Madness and pretty much anything else that comes up. We also play in an inner office fantasy football league which creates some very fun and colorful talks each week. Participating in inner office games like these will bond your team members and create a sense of belonging and loyalty.

5. Have a plan for each employee - Everyone wants to achieve and succeed at what they do. Your job is to map out a career path for each person working for you and let them know about it. When an employee knows you have a plan for them, it is easier to get through the hard times when they come (which they will, they always do). The plan also motivates them to work harder to achieve the next step in their careers. As a small business you may not have a lot of opportunity at the moment but you can plan to grow and when you grow, the new positions that become available should be filled by current team members if at all possible. This will give the next guy who’s working his way up some hope for his future as well and boost company morale.

6. Plan trips - Each year I try to take a company vacation with the team. This may sound expensive and unnecessary and at times it is, but if you can budget it in, your team will love you for it and make your company a place everyone wants to work at. We usually make our annual business planning session an excuse to hit the slopes or spend a weekend at the beach. When budget does not permit, be creative! Paintball nights or something that everyone loves to do can go a long way.The benefits  far outweigh the costs and create memories that will stay with you forever.

7. Get to know them - In America employers have a phobia about actually getting to know the people who work for them.  I find this to be one of the dumbest things American businesses have adopted. Knowing about your team members’ family and kids, or other loved ones and actually asking about them (God forbid) is a great way to help them achieve their goals and let them know you care. For some reason we have been raised up to believe the boss has to be cracking the whip and glaring through their office window at their employees to be effective, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A great leader will know how to balance being personal and objective and when to be what.

Show you care and your team will also care, that’s a win-win if I ever heard one. Morale is one of the most important factors of growth that a leader has to pay attention to in a small business. If your employees give up, your business will soon follow. I have had my share of letting it slip every now and then but it is always good to be reminded that it can turned around if we put the above tips into practice.

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.