Do You Have a Group or a Team?

Sept. 25, 2013
Are you part of a group or a team? Both have its benefits, but being part of a team is something special.

Mark Bulmahn, president of Masters Heating and Cooling, Mike Kaufman, president of Kaufman Well Drilling, and I had the opportunity to speak at Comfortech last Thursday. We covered the following topic: The value of a good loop contractor to the success of your geothermal business. We had a decent turnout considering that we were one of the last sessions just before the big Thursday Night Extravaganza. Those that attended were not disappointed. We told them everything they needed to know about the geothermal business, including what to know about loop contractors, and marketing 101.

It had been a couple of years since the last time I had attended a Comfortech show. I had the opportunity to walk the tradeshow and I talked with many of my old York colleagues, and I caught up with some old friends. It was like old home week. I tried to get to as many events as I could and the Emerson Welcome Reception was first class all the way. The folks at Emerson are top-notch hosts. They served make-your-own Philly Cheesesteaks and soft pretzels along with an open bar and hors’ d'oeuvres. It was an excellent affair.

The Wednesday keynote speaker was John Kruk former Phillies Baseball player and ESPN commentator. He was very entertaining in talking about his life and his career. I found his self-deprecating humor very funny, mainly because I can identify with being short, fat, and wanting to play basketball. Unfortunately, God didn’t gift me with any athletic ability.

As part of his talk, John mentioned that the San Diego Padres weren’t really a team; they were more of a group. It was a club where old players went to finish out their career without putting themselves under too much stress. Kruk said the Phillies were a team because they would fight for each other. Do you have a group, or a team?

A group is defined as a collection of people who have a common purpose. A jury would be a group because they have a common purpose, either to convict or acquit a defendant. On the other hand, the Business Dictionary defines team as a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job or project. To which I would add that people on a team also tend to have a lot of passion for what they are doing and for each other.

Teams often start as a group but they morph over time as members of the group begin to care about one another. Will your people fight for each other, or will they just walk away. Team building exercises often put people into situations where they cannot rely strictly on their own skills. The tasks force them to rely and trust their coworkers not to let them down.

To build a team, you must first establish the leader. Whether you or someone else, you have to have a capable leader to direct the team. The leader needs more than just the title of leader. He or she needs to have the ability to inspire, instill confidence and have the ability to have the group follow him or her. Communication is key so that everyone knows what’s expected of him or her and each person can apply his or her own expertise to helping the team reach its goal.

A leader must establish a climate of collaboration and cooperation because it’s only with these characteristics that team members can feel safe to express themselves. As the team members become more comfortable, they begin driving each other to higher levels of productivity and they begin to bond.

Once a team has bonded, they will be open to any challenges placed before them. As team members begin to know the skills of the other team members they can accomplish greater feats. That’s when the magic starts to happen and that’s when people will fight for each other. Then you know you have a team. As the old saying goes: together, everyone achieves more.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of my new book, Navigating the Marketing Maze, click here. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with marketing services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.