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​Maxwell Leadership Podcast: Building a Team Environment (Part 1)

April 21, 2021
​Maxwell Leadership Podcast: Building a Team Environment (Part 1)

You’ve probably heard John say this say this before, “One is too small of a number to achieve greatness.” In other words, if we’re going to accomplish anything of significance, we need a team around us. In this series, John teaches how to build a team environment for winning. He teaches us the ten questions leaders must ask themselves in order to assess whether or not they’re building a winning team environment.

In part one, John teaches the first five questions to help you determine if you’re building a winning team. In the application portion of the episode, Mark Cole and Traci Morrow discuss setting team expectations and how accountability is impossible unless those expectations are crystal clear.

Our BONUS resource for this series is the Building a Team Environment Worksheet, which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.


Mark Cole:       Welcome to the John Maxwell Leadership Podcast. My name is Mark Cole, and we are committed to growing you, growing your leadership, growing your team. That's really good because that is what today and next week podcast is all about, building a team environment, one that is focused on growth and improving and producing well. In fact, John recently did a talk about building a team environment. It's so good that today, my co-host, Traci Morrow, and I are going to break up this talk into two parts. This week, we'll talk about building a team environment. We'll give you five points on how John has built teams that last. Next week, we'll pick up part two and it'll be another five points that John will share with you.

Now you've probably heard this said before, one is too small of a number to achieve greatness. In other words, if you're going to accomplish anything of significance, we need a team around us. In this series, John is teaching how to build a team environment that will win and win and win again. He teaches us the 10 questions leaders must ask themselves in order to assess whether or not they're building a winning team environment. So today, I want to challenge you, go to Download the show notes, follow along as John begins to teach us the first five of these 10 questions. Then join Traci and I after John is teaching and we will give you some application of how we apply these in John Maxwell's organizations today. We'll talk to you soon. For now, listen to John Maxwell.

John Maxwell:  In the last three months, I've had two experiences that motivated me to do a lesson on how do you develop a team environment that is conducive to winning. One is I have the privilege. I'm asked every year, I don't do it every year, but I had the privilege this year to speak for over 200 coaches at the NCAA Final Four. I always love that time because I love spending time with coaches and getting to meet them and talk about their teams. And in this setting, speaking to these coaches, Billy Donovan, who, of course, coaches the NCAA champion in basketball this year, Florida, three different times in discussing his team's win was very quick to point out that it was a team effort. And he was very quick to say this, you have to understand, this team is unique. This is a team effort. This team has come together like no other team I've ever coached. And he kept emphasizing team, team, team.

And then I was out in Seattle at Microsoft, Kevin Turner, the COO, who spoke right before me, I was going to spend a few hours with the Microsoft people. Kevin, when he was talking to the top leaders around the world, was sharing with them that they needed to go back to their areas and develop a team environment. And interestingly enough, when he was talking about a team environment, he said three things that are in the beginning of your notes, which launched this lesson. So let's look at it. When he explained environment, he said, environment means the right soil to grow in. Environment means the right air to breathe in. Environment means the right climate to live in.

So how do we create an environment to set up the team for win? And what does it mean to have the right environment? Let me go back to my own personal journey. Many, many years ago in the early '70s, I came to the conclusion based on the help of a friend that I needed to make an intentional commitment for personal growth. I was not in a growth environment. The organization I was a part of was not a growth environment, the people I knew were not growing people. There was nothing happening. I was, to be honest with you, in a very stale environment.

And so when he told me that I needed to intentionally grow, I knew that I had to create a growth environment, but I didn't know how to create a growth environment. So I sat down and I began to ask myself the very simple question, what would it be like to be in a growth environment? And I began to write the following words that are in your notes. Here's what I think a growth environment is, a growth environment is a place where others are ahead of you, where you are continually challenged, where your focus is forward. The atmosphere around you is affirming. You are often out of your comfort zone. You wake up excited. Failure is not your enemy. Others are growing. People desire change. And finally, growth is modeled and expected. Now that's what I wrote in my 20s to try to help myself understand that kind of environment of people that I needed to have around me. I had to have people that understood these values, what I call a growth environment. Stay right in your notes.

When matching people to roles in the organization, it's not enough to weigh what they've done in the past. To get the right fit, it's crucial to consider what they could do if the environment allowed them to flourish, because what is a leader's job? I'll tell you what a leader's job is. A leader's job is to create an environment that allows the people on his or her staff or his or her department to flourish.

Now here's an exercise. In fact, you probably want to make it somewhere in your notes, just to remind yourself when you go back over these notes after this lesson. You need to ask yourself the question, what kind of environment am I creating that would bring growth to the people in my organization? I mean, if I started lists down at my organization, what are the things that I have created to have a growth environment for my team to win? What are some of the tangible things that I could say? Now hopefully, the questions I'm about to ask are going to help stimulate that question I just did ask. Okay.

So let's look at several questions that create a team environment to win. Number one, do I understand what it takes to be a team? And let's take the word team, T-E-A-M. And let me just play off of that for a moment. What does it take to be a team? The letter T, tolerance. Tolerance of each other's weaknesses, because we all have them. E, encouragement toward each other's successes, because we all have them. Acknowledgement, that each of us has something to offer. And mindfulness, mindfulness that we need each other. So how do I develop tolerance? I see things with my heart, not with my eyes. How do I create an environment of encouragement? I weep with people who weep. I rejoice with those who rejoice.

How do I develop an atmosphere of acknowledgement? I do what John Wooden told his coach at the UCLA Bruins when a player gave him a good pass that allowed them to get an easy bucket on the way back down the court, he said, "Point to the person who threw the pass, acknowledge that person." One person looked at coach Wooden and said, "Well, what if the guy who threw me the pass isn't looking?" And coach Wooden said, "He'll always be looking." Of course, he will. An environment of mindfulness, the mindfulness of what Mother Teresa said, I can do what you cannot do. You can do what I cannot do. Together we can do some great things.

Tolerance, encouragement, acknowledgement, and mindfulness requires maturity. Have you ever noticed that immaturity doesn't work in teams? Have you ever noticed that? You've never seen immaturity be the prominent characteristic of a great team. You never had a coach says, you know what? Our team won the championship because we have the most immature players. Maturity creates this environment and allows this to happen.

Going back to John Wooden, he told me a great story one day about Sidney Wicks, one of his players. He said, the first day that Sidney came on the basketball court, he said every player on my team realized that Sidney Wicks was the best player hands down, better than anybody else. And yet he said, Sidney was immature in one of the ball and want everybody to take care of his needs. And so he said, John, I did the thing that all coaches do. My only way of running a guy's life like that is to sit him on the bench. And just say, until you change your attitude, you're not going to get a play a lot. And he said, Sidney Wicks would come up to him all the time and say, "Coach, why aren't you playing me more? Why aren't you playing me more?" He said, "I'm the best player on the team." And John Wooden gave this great statement, he said, "Sidney, I know you're the best player on the team, but the team doesn't play the best when you're on it." Powerful statement, isn't it?

See, to make a great team, you've got to have the tolerance, encouragement, acknowledgement, that you need each of the mindfulness with a basic overall umbrella of maturity. The true measure of a successful leader is not getting people to work. The true measure of a successful leader is not getting people to work hard. The true measure of a successful leader is getting people to work hard together. So the first question I want to ask myself to create a team environment to win is, do I understand what it takes to be a team? And question number two, are my expectations crystal clear? Are my expectations crystal clear? We all deal with the impact of expectations in three dimensions. One, expectations we have of ourselves. Two, expectations that we have of others. And thirdly, expectations that others have of us. Are my expectations clear? It's a great question to ask and create a team environment.

Question number three, do my people understand why what we do is important? In other words, does a staff member get the whole picture? Do they see how they fit in the team? How that affects down to the team, but how that affects the entire organization. So how do you connect the why with the what? Number one, this is what the company does. This gives the company picture. This is what you do. This is the personal picture. This is what we do together. That's the team picture. This is why we do it. That's the big picture that connects the why with the what.

How do we help the team know why what they do is important? How do we bring that about? Number one, tell them stories so they can see the big picture. Story stick. Tell them stories, stories about what's happening in the organization. Number two, give them exposure so that they can see the big picture. I remember several years ago in Maximum Impact, I required in the process of year that no matter what a person did in the company, if they were just boxing boxes in the back of a warehouse, whatever they were doing, that they were required to attend one conference a year where they could see the action, the company in action, what happens when people visit that day and let them experience and get exposure to what happens beyond what they were doing. Number three, connect them with the results so they can see the big picture. And four, express to them gratefulness, so they can see the big picture. Let your team know that you know their value until you know that they know that you value them.

Question number four, this is all in creating a team environment to win. Question number four, does my team to find success with their customer? Now let me just stay right in the notes because this is very important in creating a winning environment. Does my team define success with their customer? The number one question to ask to define success with your customer is this question, have you asked the customer what success looks like? In other words, have you gone to the customer and say, let me ask you a question. Since you come to this company, since you're a client of ours, what does success look like?

When I speak for companies, not always, but often, I have what we call a pre-conference call. Sometimes it gets two or three pre-conference calls. I prefer one, but sometimes it gets a little lengthy, but usually, it's a 30 minute call, where when I'm going into speak for a company, I'm talking to the CEO, COO, somebody, maybe HR person, I've talked to a person who is responsible for the company in the event. And pretty much I'm asking them, what do you expect? What are you looking for? What's your theme? When this conference is over, what do you want to see happen? And basically, I get in a very much of a listening mode. I don't tell them what I'm going to say yet. I don't tell them what I'm going to do because I haven't determined what I'm going to say, I haven't determined what I'm going to do.

I want to hear them, because I want to write down what they're thinking. And I say, if I could serve you and say something for you in this company, what would you want me to say? And I fill up a page, just a legal page of them. And then I say, okay, now what I'm going to do is I will come in and I'll develop my speech around this page. I have to know what your expectations are, because I said, when I'm done speaking, I'm going to ask you another question. You know what that question is? Did I meet your expectations? If you say, John, you hit a home run, you went beyond any expectation we would ever had, I'm going to high-five you and I'm going to be happy because I served you. I did what I'm supposed to do, but how can I meet those expectations? I've got to know what they are. I've got to know what they're looking for.

To add value to people, you have to know what they value. That's very essential. It's impossible to add value to people if you don't know what they value. Can I tell you what? You'll go in and you'll say things you think are good, but you may be saying things that aren't connecting all of those people, it may not be where they are, that may not be their journey, and it may not be their agenda, it may not be their priority. I have no clue. So what you've got to do is back up. And to create a winning environment, you've got to look at your team and you've got to ask yourself, I mean, hey, let's look at our customer. Does our customer think we're succeeding?

You know what I found out about most staff? If you ask a staff if they think they're doing a good job, they'll tell you they think they're doing a good job. Very seldom does a staff member come and say, no, I think I'm just being very lousy, to be honest with you. Oh dear God, I'm awful. Miss that one. Whew. I just did terrible last week. No, that just isn't the language of staff. Staff think they're a lot better than they are. And before we think we're picking on staff, going to test some leaders. We think we're a lot better than we are too.

There's an amazing amount of over evaluation if we just evaluate ourselves. So how do we know? How do we know if we're creating this team environment to win? How do we know? Well, we define success, not based upon how we would define success. For 25 years I was a pastor, I learned long time ago never ask a pastor after he's done preaching how well he did. He'll have an estimation of the message that's far exceeds the content. If you don't know how well it did, go out there and ask Joe who listened to him. First thing, say, Joe, did you understand anything you said? Joe, what are you going to take home with you? Was there something that was said that you can apply to your life? You got to define success, not based upon how you and I think it is or what our staff thinks it is, what's the customer think it is. You got to go clear down to the customer because that's where it is.

Number five, question number five. Am I holding people accountable for performance? The Harvard Business School says that a team is a small number of people with complimentary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Now I've seen this Harvard Business School definition of a team played out pretty good, but often the weakness is in that last phrase, for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. What a leader doesn't inspect, the team members won't respect. In my book, the 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, I have the Law of the Edge that says the difference between two equally talented teams is leadership. And I think that's true. And setting up a team environment to win, which is what the subject is all about is a leadership responsibility. I love the statement, the company is known by the people it keeps. Great statement.

Mark Cole:       Wow. I tell you, podcast listeners, Traci, I was ready for John just to continue. Sorry to make you wait a week for the other five questions, because we just felt like this was the moment for us to pause, reflect, and activate. And so Traci, I'm so glad you're here with us today. You are a true builder of winning teams. I know your team. I know many of the teams you've worked alongside of, you make us better and it's good to have you on today.

Traci Morrow:  I'm glad to be here, but it's funny to me because I was really thankful that we paused after number five, because I felt like this is really putting myself in the hot seat as a leader, I put myself in. And this is like a real, if you're listening to the podcast and you haven't maybe been somebody who prints out the notes, this is really a great lesson to visit that and print those out and make notes to yourself, because as I did it, it was just really, sometimes it was uncomfortable and I was thinking, oh yikes. And sometimes I was celebrating a little bit, like, okay, we've had some growth in there. What about you, Mark? First of all, when he starts out with the growth environment, how about that he did that in his 20s?

Mark Cole:       It's funny, you and I were talking about generational challenges and what we're seeing, not only in our kids, but just in generations, and I'm going, did I? I mean, I'm pretty passionate about this subject of growth. If any of you listening to the podcast don't know yet, let me tell you this. This is my jam. I love growth, but I'm sitting here going, did I ask myself these kinds of questions at 20? I don't know, but John sure did.

Traci Morrow:  I know he's insane and continues to impress me. And that's why he's our mentor. As I listened to these first 10 of a growth environment, these 10 points, Mark, I did take some notes to myself and think, how am I doing in this area? And I found that there were a couple that I probably really struggled with as a leader and still sometimes do. I mean, I think we jump in and out of all of these over time, but were there some that you looked at and you thought, oh, that's something I'm in right now?

Mark Cole:       Yeah. On a personal level, I've always struggled with others are ahead of me, not because I'm ever the top of the class, but I'll always put an expectation that I should be at the top of the class. And so I've never allowed myself to be comfortable that there are people ahead of me because so many times my competitive nature wants to be that top. And at times, I feel a little intimidated because I should be giving the answers and somebody has given better answers than me. But that's a struggle. And it continues today with new advancement, new opportunity, new responsibility that John's given me, there's oftentimes now and with an owner hat on or the baton carrier, if you will, that I felt like, man, I should have all the answers, I should have all the answers.

And so putting myself into a place of humility and a hunger to learn as a first filter, rather than a desire to teach and a desire to show that I know my stuff is really something that I constantly work through to make sure I really do appreciate it. I don't have a problem being in rooms with people that are smarter than me, because every room's almost like that, but being comfortable with that and letting that be my friend is something that I've really worked for.

I think the other one that is really a challenge for us or for me, my personality type, is failure not being my enemy. I hate disappointing. I hate disappointing. You, Traci, I hate disappointing. John, I hate disappointing, my family. And rather than seeing that disappointment as an opportunity to grow and be better, I've always challenged myself in moments of failure or coming up short as an indication of either my significance or my ability, and neither should be the case. And so both of those moments of feeling insignificant because I don't have the answer or feeling like I came up short, that failure is actually an enemy has probably been the two that I constantly have to work myself into changing my paradigm, my perspective.

Traci Morrow:  And that has to be very common for all of our friends. I mean, I feel like in any leadership position, there is that underlying desire to show that we know what we're talking about, that we are trustworthy, that we can take them from this point to the next point, but one thing I heard you say that I find so fascinating on the failure is not your inner enemy point is I think that fear, it never holds you back. You still run into something. And I feel like it's common for somebody for that to freeze them up or hold them from moving forward. So what would you say even though that is a sticking point and I believe it's common for all of us? What is it that you don't allow it to hold you back?

Mark Cole:       Well, it's funny, because just yesterday, right before recording this podcast, I was hosting one of our new partners in our office here in Atlanta. And we were dreaming about the future, we were putting some plans in place. And their concern was you have a what if I come up short? What if I fail? This is I'm bringing you several competencies, but one of the things you're asking me to do is not necessarily what I see as a skillset or a competence. What do I do if I come up short and disappoint you and John and the team? And I taught it so well, Traci, I was like, "Well, wait." Then we'll regroup, we'll change the timeline because you are the right partner, you are the right owner of this project. And so if we can't hit it by the deadline I just gave you, then we'll pull back, regroup and we'll set a new timeline because failure is not an option around here. Now, did you hear me say that? Well, I can teach it a lot better, I can live it.

But in this whole concept that we're talking about today, building a winning team environment, it's one thing to be able to tell it, to say it like I did yesterday with our partner. It's another thing to show it. It's another thing to demonstrate it. So what I worked really hard to do, and John's taught me this, is I don't take failure as an indication of my worth or my value. I don't take failure or coming up short as a misappropriation of my sense of responsibility and stewardship. It's not a sense of personal value. I don't have a self-esteem problem. I have a leadership expectation problem.

And so what I do to keep myself humble is every time I come up short, I verbalize it to our team. In fact, those of you that listened to the podcast regularly, you have to hear my admitting of coming up short quite often. That's not because I'm trying to diminish myself from a value standpoint, that's to keep myself in a posture of growing and learning and letting failure be our friend, because I really do want that in our team environment, even if I struggle with it on a personal level.

Traci Morrow:  Oh, that's so good. That's a lesson in and of itself. Really, I think we get stuck on that a lot of times, especially if you are a leader in an organization where there's a leader above you, if you want to value that and extract the lessons, but your concern is, like you said about disappointing, when you don't want to disappoint John is, will I lose my job or my position because of this? How big of a failure am I willing to risk? And what would you speak to those people who are in that position?

Mark Cole:       Here's what I want my answer to be, and I hope it is. This is certainly how John has treated me. It's not the size of your failure, it's the posture of your failure. So fail big, fail big, or go home. I mean, go big or go home, fail big or go home, try something so big that failure is the given expectation. But when your posture after you fail is not one of wanting to grow and become better, that's a reason to indicate that you're no longer good for this team because we don't have a problem with the failure and we're not sitting here quantifying the size of the failure, we're reflecting on the posture of your learning and leaning in. Fail because you tried something so big and have a posture to want to grow, you're in, let's go. Fail small and then defy it and tell everybody else that they are the reason you failed and you're on shaky ground in this environment.

Traci Morrow:  Absolutely. One of the 10 points, John said, you're often out of your comfort zone. So if you're in your gift zone, out of your comfort zone, then I love how you described, go so big that failure is inevitable. You plan for that, not that you're planning to fail, but also then you have a different mindset and fear is not really a part of that. There's an expectation.

Mark Cole:       John was talking about recently, and you probably have heard him say this because it wasn't the first time he said it really, he had these personal goals back when he was leading a nonprofit of some objectives that he wanted to have personally. And so he said himself that he wanted to have 200 impact moments outside of his nonprofit. I mean, he just really wanted to personally go out and be this kind of evangelist of the nonprofit, but do it on a personal level. He said, I never got to 200 because it was so big. It was so audacious. He said, I got to 150, it had an average of 18 years of 158 people impacted by me personally on the message of my nonprofit. He said, but let me tell you something, if I'd have hit 150 and got 150, I wouldn't have been as excited as hitting 158 and always reaching for 200.

Now, was that a failure? Some people would say, yeah, you set a goal of 200. You only hit 158. That's a failure. John doesn't look at it that way. He goes, man, I didn't hit something that, I didn't set something that I could easily hit. I set something so big that I never hit it, but I guarantee you, I did more than if I'd have hit goals that I could have hit.

Traci Morrow:  So, John hits on these five questions that to create a winning team, we don't have obviously the time to dig into each of them, but I thought it would be fun to highlight some of these that maybe Mark you and your team as you're leading this large team of John's that John as the founder and now you've taken that baton. And so let's dive into some maybe that you and your team are currently in a learning curve with, if you wouldn't mind doing that.

Mark Cole:       Yeah, not at all. I think all of us, every leader that's listening probably is coming out of 2020 and saying, wow, I hunger for clarity. And I look at number two, and Traci, I love how you worded that better. It would be fun to hear the ones you're learning about the way she said that podcast listeners before we started recording is she says, Mark, I think it would be fun to hear the ones you're struggling with. So what I'm hearing is, as Traci wants you guys to have fun with her at my struggles, that's what I'm hearing Traci.

Traci Morrow:  It makes you feel so human to us.

Mark Cole:       But truly it is, this appetite for clarity that all of us want. We want to know, don't we? I mean, we want to be certain, but we want clarity too. Where's our picture in the flag? And I probably like many of you in the podcast world that are leading teams, leading organizations, certainly have felt like we've had a famine of clarity. We didn't know how long COVID was going to be. Are we going back to work? Are we going to ever go back to work? Should we keep paying our corporate leases? Is buildings ever going to be in our future? Is people ever going to want to come back and be in an environment where we have events? Is there going to be events this year, next year? What will the events look like? There are a deluge of questions that have hit us as leaders. And I'm tired, Traci, I'm tired of saying, I don't know, I can't tell you.

And so when John asked this question, are my expectations crystal clear, I had to go back and realize that I still have to be certain about what we're doing and why we're doing it on to question number three, but why we're doing it is super important because in that certainty of what we're doing and why we're doing, things can become clear, even though there's so much uncertainty and so much lack of clarity around us, our certainty can really work to help us. And so coming out of 2020, I really found myself in 2021 with this huge appetite to provide clarity for our team.

Traci Morrow:  I was pausing. And let's see, I'm sorry. Sometimes I forget I'm co-hosting with you. I'm just taking it in, staring off and learning. So when you talk about expectations, John talked about expectations of ourselves, expectations of the team, and then the expectations that others have of us, what would you say was the hardest piece of that for you navigating that lack of clarity?

Mark Cole:       So, expectations, probably expectations we have of others because I have a really incredible team. They've been really supportive of some of the vision and succession and transitions that John and I have got, we've just got a great team. I've been here 20 years. Many of this team has been with us for half of that, if not more. There's a great rapport. And I don't feel overly pressured from expectations they have of me. I have high expectations of myself, but the expectations to put on others. I'm in a new world, I'm having to now create the vision, cast the vision and pursue opportunities to fulfill the vision. That's all new things for me. John's done all that. He's done all that for years and years. And now I'm doing that.

And our team, I'm sensing them going, okay, then what can we do for you? What do you want us to do? There's a real willingness and yet, because I'm in uncharted territory of trying to figure out how to excel in these new areas challenging my leadership, I have found myself not well at giving clear expectations on the team around me. That's changing. We're starting to, I'm sensing a shift in that, but I've really worked through that over and over again over the last year.

Traci Morrow:  That's got to tie back into the top of this call when we talked about not being afraid to fail at it when the stakes are high, when the team is needing your leadership, when it's been the weirdest year of our lives last year and coming into this new year, when you're feeling like you need to give them clarity, when truthfully, there are things you're figuring out as you go and there will have to be a little bit of failure, there's had to have been as you're navigating this new norm and this new way of doing things.

And so thanks for being vulnerable and honest, because I think we all feel that way. We were all scrambling. We do see more before, we do see things have got to change, we saw things have worked are different. And so we've got to pivot. We've talked on the podcast all last year about pivoting, but sometimes that pivot, you lose balance a little bit and your ankle twists and you're still pivoting. So last thing, you and I talked about a little bit before we went on with the podcast, holding people accountable for performance. That's a tough one for, I think, a lot of leaders, I know it certainly is for me, but how is that one challenging you in this current environment of leadership?

Mark Cole:       Well, truly, and this is not because I believe it's the right thing to say. I really do believe this. I have found that my inability are my, I would say an average score of holding people accountable. If John had challenged us today to say, hey, on these five questions, how well are you doing one through 10? This would be an average of five at best. But then when I go to try to assess that and correct it, I realized that I am the issue. It's not our team. Our team, as John says, what a leader doesn't inspect, the team members won't respect. The team is not the challenge. I have an incredible team around us.

Going back to my challenge with expectations being clear, we're in a time of transition. Therefore, my team is not as clear as they need to be. Therefore, I can't hold them accountable because you can't exceed expectations, you can't even meet expectations if expectations are not clear. Then you can't be accountable if there's a lack of clarity. So they really are in tandem with each other. And they really are if I was looking for an excuse, they're excusable, we've had COVID, there's new ownership, what's John and I's new role? I mean, there's a 100 reasons on why I can say, but here's the bottom line.

For us to be effective as leaders, we've got to give clarity of our expectations and we've got to hold people accountable for their performance on our expectations. They have to be both in place. That's why when John says the Law of the Edge take two equally talented, equally committed, equally gifted teams. And the difference between the two equal teams is leadership. So maybe I would challenge you today in these five questions John shared, rank yourself, grade yourself, but come back to this realization, the team's ability to be held accountable rest in you as the leader being clear of expectations and following through on them having to be accountable to those expectations.

Traci Morrow:  Okay. Friends, let's exhale. That's a lot. That's a lot because I'm convicted just listening to that of some things are coming to mind, so taking some notes, taking a breather, rating ourselves, and then we'll come back and be brave again next week to listen to six to 10, Mark.

Mark Cole:       You know what? I said at the beginning of this podcast, I said, man, I just wanted John to keep going. And you said, I did it. I was ready for him to pause a minute. After deep breathing this with you, you were right, Traci, we needed a pause. And podcast listeners, you have that pause. This is now a week to relisten to John, perhaps there were a useful thing that Traci and I shared with you that would be worth relistening as well.

And I'm going to challenge you, take this week and begin assessing your leadership, your team environment by the five questions that John gave us, maybe go back and in your show notes, just jot down am I a one through 10? Am I at two or three or four or five here? Find the ones to where you find yourself most in need of improvement. And let's spend the next seven days working to improve ourself because our team deserves to be a winning team. And as John said in the last statement, that depends on yours and my ability to lead. Let's lead, let's lead well. Until next week, where we will share part two of a building a team environment, let's lead, let's lead well, let's change the world.

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