Invest In Your Team for a Great 2016

Elite athletes don’t achieve elite status just because they want to. They invest heavily in themselves and focus on how to build performance. It takes years of practice, mentoring and coaching to become great. So why do we expect business teams to achieve high performance with little to no investment in team building and leadership development? In a recent article on December 14, 2015 from Forbes on-line titled “Your Single Best Investment for 2016” by Josh Linkner http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshlinkner/2015/12/14/your-single-best-investment-for-2016/ it is pretty clear that investing in leadership and team building is critical for success and this focus will have a solid return on your investment. ”According to a 2011 study by CEB, “Companies that invest in leadership development have outperformed others by 15 times over the last 60 years.” Businesses invest countless resources in technology, facilities, and compliance, yet the most powerful investment of all – investing to elevate team performance – is often underfunded or cut altogether. Ironically, companies that prioritize leadership development can enjoy enormous boosts in both revenue and productivity.” It has been said that the front line produces the bottom line. By this account team performance is critical. Companies must focus on and build high performance teams. The responsibility to build these high performance teams falls upon the leader and yet so often the leader is not prepared to and does not know how to guide their team towards high performance. Just because the team members have the experience, knowledge and tools to do the job does not mean they will do it well. Many teams are good, but few are great. Leaders are often promoted...

True Patriot Love Expedition Team Returns from Antarctica

Wounded Canadian soldiers team up with business leaders to battle the coldest continent in the world In January of 2016 nine ill and injured soldiers, seventeen Canadian business leaders, one team doctor, one research specialist and one extreme photographer embarked on an challenging journey to summit Vinson Massif – the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the world’s Seven Summits. As with previous TPL Expeditions – to the Himalayas in 2012 and the North Pole in 2014 – the purpose of this journey was to bring attention to the challenges that face members of the Canadian Armed Forces, their families and Canada’s veterans each day. By bringing these challenges into the spotlight, True Patriot Love strives to provide inspiration to those facing these issues every day, and also garner financial support and awareness from Canadians across the country.   Scott Kress, Summit Team Building President, was one of the guides for the expedition and a member of the True Patriot Love Expedition Leadership Team. Scott’s role was as a mountain guide and to help the team prepare for the expedition technically and physically and also to help the team develop into a high performance unit. Beginning with a training camp on the Athabasca Glacier in August and continuing with weekend training session the team focused not only on the ph`ysical fitness and technical skills necessary to climb the mountain, but also on interpersonal interactions and team dynamics. Ask any experienced mountaineer and they will tell you that communication, trust, decision making, and other team interaction skills are critical to be successful on any climb. A focus on team...

Praise for the Motivational Speaker

Almost every organization of any size will, at some time, seek a motivational speaker to get people ‘re-excited’ about the work they do. A great motivational speaker can walk into a ballroom of disenchanted or bored employees and, in less than an hour, fill it with hope and inspiration. When it works, it’s brilliant. And it says a lot about human nature. In contrast to an organization’s leaders, the great motivational speaker needs to change nothing in the external environment of the employees. No new job descriptions, no new benefits, no pay raises, bonuses, or perks. The day to day tasks remain the same. What the motivational speaker changes is the way the employees see themselves in relation to their ‘same old’ world. It’s a collective internal shift of perspectives, sometimes made in hundreds of people at once, using the power of the personal story. The successful motivational speaker can perform this task so well for a number of reasons. First, theirs is a new story of loss, struggle and success that resonates with the listener on an emotional level. You don’t have to be a climber of rock and ice to appreciate the hardships of an Everest climb in a metaphorical sense. You may have never set foot on a mountain but you have struggled. Epic ally, no doubt. And, you have experienced the exhilaration of success. Somewhere deep inside, you want to feel that success again. Secondly, the most powerful motivational speaker comes into the room with a fresh objectivity that someone ‘inside’ the organization usually cannot duplicate. Yes, there are occasions that a visionary CEO can,...

Leadership Training as a Priority

Is leadership training important? I am often asked if great leaders are born or are they trained to be that way. I believe the answer is a little of both. There are certain leadership traits, qualities and characteristics we are born with and there are others that are learned and refined over the years. When you focus on leadership training you are building on these natural skills and augmenting these with new and different leadership skills. Great companies, and those that strive to be great, invest in leadership training.   A recent survey of more than 500 executives (Measuring the ROI of Leadership Development and Strategy), indicated that 27 % of those who said their company was winning in the marketplace, attributed the success to great leadership. Leadership training appears to be a significant leverage point for organizational success. Yet how many companies view it as a priority? At Summit Team Building we see leadership training as a deliberate process that takes into account the desired vision of great leadership, including behaviors and skills, and an honest assessment of the current state of the leader(s). When those two things are known, then a deliberate leadership training plan can address the gap. If leadership training is to be a priority, an organization must pay attention to all the parts: make a plan, revisit the plan frequently and invest in delivery. Many larger organizations, particularly public institutions, have developed detailed leadership competency models. They have defined what great leadership looks like at each level within their organizations. This is akin to having a “leadership vision”. It is an important first step because...

Building relationships with Team Building activities

Countless studies have lauded the value and even the necessity of team building activities. Team building activities have been linked to increased engagement, enhanced communication, greater trust, stronger company loyalty, fewer conflicts, easier decision making and so much more. In today’s work environment it is not a question of if you will engage in team building activities, but when and how often you will do it. Team building activities are a simple way for people to build positive relationships in the workplace. In carefully-structured team building activities, people share success, have fun, and begin (or continue) to build a common, positive history together. They connect with each other. Team building activities don’t need to be sophisticated … and certainly shouldn’t be hokey … but they must promote positive social interaction and be satisfying for the participants, while keeping them in an emotionally “safe place”. Keeping it emotionally safe is what makes the difference between team building activities that elicit eye rolls and those that result in full participation, smiles and laughter. What feels emotionally safe to one person may feel completely outside the comfort zone of another. It’s important to know the individuals on your team and to ensure that, in any team building activity you select, people can choose how to participate.   Here are a few things that we, at Summit Team Building, consider in our approach to team building activities: At Summit, we first and foremost want to ensure the team building activity you select is appropriate for your audience. We will want to talk with you about learning goals and the level of physical activity...