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Achievable Tips for Building a Championship Team with Mike Robbins & Hughes Marino

By Shay Hughes

Across several of our Hughes Marino offices, clients and members of our local communities joined us for an inspiring presentation with best-selling author Mike Robbins. Mike has been an integral part of our success since we first collaborated in 2011, and we are proud to have cultivated an award-winning culture ever since—from being named Fortune Magazine’s #1 Best Workplace in the nation and the #1 Best Place to Work by regional business journals for several years. Mike’s client list includes the who’s who of successful organizations, including Google, Microsoft and countless other global companies, as well as some of the most victorious professional sports teams in the nation. We were honored to have Mike join us and share insights on how to create a championship team and a thriving company culture.

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Cultivating a unified, positive culture is something that Jason and I have always believed is vital to the health and success of any group—whether it be a business, team or family—and we’ve been committed to ensuring our team is happy and fulfilled in both their personal and professional lives since day one. Here are some key takeaways that Mike shared that we hope you find relevant and inspiring in your own circles of influence.

Team Dynamics

When we think about team dynamics, we think of the chemistry different teams have with one another to get the job done. But what does it truly take to be a championship team? Whether you call it chemistry or culture, it’s our relationships with one another that are the driving force of successful team dynamics. You have to get the culture and the relationships among the team right before anything else. A great question for leaders to ask themselves is, “What do you want your team to aspire to as they work together to achieve their goals?” When thinking about the best team experiences we’ve ever had, trust, commitment, loyalty, respect, empowerment and having one another’s support usually are the first qualities that come to mind and are all achievable if a company focuses on these dynamics with great intention.

Above the Line & Below the Line

Mike describes “above the line” items as being the mechanics of the team—whatever it takes to provide the best service or attain the greatest outcome—including the daily activities needed to keep everything running smoothly and to deliver as promised. Below the line items he referred to as the true psychology of the team and what really drives success. 80% of true success is below the line phenomena. When we spend most of our time working on the 20% above the line mechanics, how can leaders ensure that their team is also focused on the powerful 80% below the line? Jason and I strive to empower our teams to take ownership of our culture and focus on all that is below the line—even across offices from state to state. As we’ve grown, we make sure that we take the time to focus on this critical area to ensure everyone on our team feels nurtured, supported and aligned as we work together to reach our goals.

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Role vs. Job

Our role is what we do, from our day-to-day tasks, to the title we post on LinkedIn. But our job is to help the team succeed as a whole. In fact, one of our favorite HM-isms derives from Mike’s teachings: “We each have a different role, but we all share the same job—to help the team win!” This reinforces the fact that while everyone might have specific and different roles within a company, everyone can (and should!) work together to achieve the same ultimate goal–to help the team win! This is a positive and powerful concept that should be reiterated to teams to encourage collaboration and teamwork!

High Expectations & High Nurturance

This is one of my favorite concepts that Mike talks about, and we’ve experienced the power of this combination firsthand with our team. Our second core value is “Deliver excellence in everything we do.” That alone sets the bar high, as we truly expect excellence in literally everything we do, big or small. What allows us to accomplish this almost all the time is a very high level of nurturance among our team. Most people don’t associate commercial real estate with nurturance, but it is absolutely vital to our ability to deliver excellence and sustain our constant striving for our own high expectations. Nurturing people is key to helping them achieve the greatest results possible. Similarly, nurturing relationships is key to building an amazing team.

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Authenticity isn’t just about being true to yourself, but rather being real and transparent with yourself AND your team. Successful teams create an environment that removes self-righteousness and provides psychological safety, so people know they can be their authentic selves. The companies that create a safe environment for their team members have the greatest ability to thrive.

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Appreciation & Recognition

Appreciation and recognition may seem the same, but they are actually two very distinct and important functions in a successful team. While we can recognize someone for executing on a job well done, appreciation is about recognizing people’s value versus what they do. More than anything else, people want to feel valued in their roles. The simple practice of sincere appreciation is easy to achieve, and it has the potential to dramatically affect the outcome of success for any business leader, team member, or even an entire organization.

Jason and I have had the pleasure to watch each one of our amazing team members thrive and grow, and almost every moment of growth was nurtured and encouraged by appreciation. We believe that our team members are our most important asset and with this mindset, we have made our team’s happiness and success one of our top priorities!

I know I speak for our team at Hughes Marino when I say that we appreciate everyone who joined us at the Mike Robbins events and we hope you enjoyed the inspiring messages Mike shared. We look forward to continuing to show our appreciation to our clients, teammates, friends, families and communities by continuing to deliver excellence in everything we do!

Shay Hughes is president & COO of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay.hughes@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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