The HotDogMan was working on the front counter one evening when one of his regulars came in.

"Hi Mike" he greeted "How's it going?" "OK! I guess" answered Mike. "It's just that tomorrow we're going on a "Team Building Adventure". "You don't seem very excited about that." Said HDM. "Other than it's a day out of the office, which I could do with, I'm not." answered Mike. "They always get us to do all these 'team' games that are supposed to 'release our inner spirit' and make us work better as a team. Now don't get me wrong, the day is normally fun and I enjoy it but I've never experienced any lasting benefit from it. I would rather they used the money to sort the office environment out."

"Your office environment?" Asked HDM "Do you mean the chairs and desks, that sort of thing?" "Well that would help, my chair needs replacing, the carpet is ripped and I won't even talk about the state of the toilets, but whenever we complain the answer is always the same. 'It's not in the budget'. Yet we waste money on stuff that really doesn't improve productivity or customer service. No. What I really want to have is a sense of direction, clear policies and a stable structure to work in. I sometimes get the feeling that no-one really knows what we stand for. We change direction so often that I feel like a chameleon on a smarties box. I know that I've got to change colour, but which one?"

"And then to top it off, the fact that we have been on this 'Team Building' is often used against us. Suddenly we are expected to work so much better and if things go wrong we are accused of not being 'Team Players' and asked 'Where's your team spirit? Didn't you learn anything from the exercises?' It's as though some managers do not understand the importance of good management, and how their behaviour affects the team. Ah well. Enough complaining let me go and do what needs to be done. I've got kids to feed and Mikes to pay"

After Mike had left the HDM immediately made some notes about their conversation and then drawing on his experience came to some conclusions.

Principles of Team Building.

Team Building begins in the Boardroom, The first thing that any organisation, that wants to be, and remain, successful must do is to decide on the character that they want to have. There is no more important task than deciding on the reputation that you want and the values that you will operate by. This sets the guideline for all future activities. When you know the reputation that you want you can control your behaviour, the way that you do things and the way that you treat people.

There are two things that every business must strive to create, maintain and improve:-

1. The emotional attraction – your reputation, This is what brings people and business to you; and

2. The emotional take away – the experience. This is how people feel about their dealings with you. This must support and enhance the emotional attraction.

These define the behavioural values that everyone in the organisation should live by, and define who we want to be and how we want to be perceived by the market.

Well that's enough for now next week we'll continue with the principles of team building. But remember this. Team Building begins in the Board Room.

End of episode 7
This is a fairly long story and will be delivered as a series so watch your inbox for the next exciting episode.
Please don't just read it. Think about it. What can you learn from it? How can you apply what you have learned? How does your business match up? What results have your team building exercises delivered?
With love and best wishes
PS: I would really like to have your comments on this article so send them to me at I am especially interested to hear what lessons you have learned from this article.
Today's Question
Are you a “follower” expecting to be
nurtured, inspired and motivated
or are you a supporter, a real team player
someone that the leader, and other team members,
can rely on, someone who gives as much as he gets?
To live your best life be true to the YOU, you want to be.
Live up to the reputation that you want to have.
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