At times, team members rely on the team leader more often than they should.
When presented with a problem, team members must shoulder the responsibility, attempting to find a solution BEFORE seeking additional input from the team leader.
In fact, it should ONLY be brought back to the team leader once a solution has been identified, so all that is required is approval or disapproval from the team leader.
When all facets have been analyzed and identified, the best option chosen and addressed, and all that is required is for the team leader to put his or her name to the work, it may be considered complete.
Support positions exist on the team because it is impossible for the team leader to do everything themselves. EVERY team member has tremendous value, and wildly successful teams function much more like the UN than a dictatorship. That being said, all the team members must be fiercely protective of the team leader’s time.
The download for this blog is a letter from the Provost Marshal written to their team many years ago.
Tips to ensure you are delivering “Completed Staff Work”:
It is permissible and encouraged to ask your team leader how he or she would like something done. Following these steps will ensure both you and your team leader will be happy with the result.
- At the time the project is assigned to you, ask the team leader Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
- Seek every possible method of solving the problem BEFORE re-approaching the team leader.
- Google it!
- Find solutions. As more problems come up, find solutions to those as well.
- Ask yourself, “Is there ANY WAY I could solve this myself, without input from the team leader?” If the answer is yes, then do it!
- When tempted to ask your team leader questions, ask yourself, “Is it possible to wait until the next team huddle/meeting to ask this question?” There are virtually no emergencies in real estate. (If it’s an emergency, call 911!)
- The team leader needs ANSWERS, not questions.
- Your team leader understands that it may take you far longer to come up with answers yourself that he or she could have given you quickly and easily. That’s okay! RESIST the urge to lean on her for answers! She is swamped. Pretend she is on vacation and FIGURE. IT. OUT.
- Ask other team members (Not the Team Leader) for input and/or suggestions.
- If the team leader has to give you all the answers: He doesn’t need you, you aren’t learning, the team is inefficient, and success will suffer.
- Remember, if everyone on the team asks the team leader three questions a day that could have been solved some other way, the team leader would be wasting time that could and should have been spent on more important activities like lead generation, lead follow-up, and lead conversion.
- Ask your coach!
- The final test to determine if you have finished your work is: “Would (team leader) be willing to sign his/her name to this and stake his/her professional reputation on it and its accuracy?” If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” go back and work on it until you are confident the answer will be “YES”
- Present the team leader with the work.
- Don’t go into long explanations unless the team leader requests more information: Keep answers short, accurate, and relevant.
The doctrine of “Completed Staff Work” applies to every action taken by the team. For a team to operate at a world-class level, team members must provide completed staff work at a world-class level.
Your team leader asks you to set up a client event. At that moment, you ask:
- Who do you want to invite?
- What kind of event is it?
- When do you want to hold it?
- Where do you want to hold it?
Once you have as many of the answers as your team leader is willing to give (the answer might be “none” or “go figure it out”), get the work done!
When it is completed, you’ll tell your team leader:
- I’ve planned the client event!
- We’ll invite our A+, A, and B clients
- It is a movie night, and it will cost $997.
- It’s on April 27th at 7 p.m.
- It’s at Regal Cinemas in Auburn.
- Our clients will love this event because the movie is the third installment in a wildly successful series.
If the team leader wants more details, such as:
a. What prizes will we give away?
b. What can we do to promote the event?
c. How often and in what way will we be marketing the event?
Answer the questions or find the answers.
Note: Administrative Team Members
As an administrative team member, your role is to SUPPORT the team, the team leader, the other agents on the team, and the clients. When you do this, you allow everyone to focus on what they do best, which enables the team as a whole to be more productive. This in turn leads to the success of the company and ultimately, job security for you.
DO EVERYTHING. Before you go to the team leader with a “completed” project, make sure you have done everything possible. Ask any questions beforehand in meetings rather than off-the-cuff in the hallway.
Formulate complete projects, ideas, and questions. Rather than going to the team leader with problems, go to the team leader with solutions to the problems you are having. Instead of his/her having to find a solution to all of these problems, you have made it easy for him/her to simply choose one of the solutions you have provided.
Download the easy to use “Completed Staff Work” Checklist; use it to ensure projects are complete before submitting them to your team leader.
For an added bonus, we’ve included a letter written by the United States War Department Deputy Provost Marshal, Archer C. Lerch, to his staff, explaining the importance of completed staff work.
As our way of saying thank you for taking the time to read this blog, we invite you to a FREE, 55-minute, NO PITCH, one-on-one coaching call with a Club Wealth® coach! Request your Strategy Session!