National Marketing Director Daniela Dubach shares how to create a positive, productive team culture and why it’s important to your success.
Every person has a leadership style. For some, it emerges early in life. But for others, it blooms gradually when they begin to recognize, develop and focus on their strengths.
Growing the Leader within
In the earlier years of my life, I never saw myself as a leader. I was extremely shy and lacked self-confidence, so much so that I was afraid to speak in front of others.
Looking back, First Financial Security, Inc. and the opportunity they offered impacted my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It gave me a platform that empowered me and allowed me to believe in myself and what I could accomplish.
I gained the confidence to expand my vision into something so much bigger, which wasn’t always easy. I had to be willing to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, which I still do.
For instance, dealing with different personalities, learning how to effectively manage them, and keeping drama to a minimum are difficult. Maintaining balance among my career, personal and spiritual lives can be a challenge, especially during the year’s busier times. I still feel that these are opportunities to grow, learn, and to stretch myself and my vision. It’s not only when things are going well that these opportunities present themselves.
The Importance of Team Culture
I love the diversity of our team (EFC Javier Rodriguez’ Crusaders) and what it lends to our team culture. Different backgrounds, ethnicities and beliefs make our team strong and open-minded. I’m proud to say that there’s an amazing amount of synergy, support, and encouragement among this diverse group’s leaders. We often rely on each other for help. Associates are eager and willing to learn not only the business, but also how to grow personally and professionally.
Creating a Team Culture
If you don’t think your team has a “team culture,” you’re mistaken. Your team has a culture whether you like it or not, and it’s defined by what you tolerate.
You need to be intentional about nurturing the culture you specifically want or a not so favorable alternative will emerge. I make a conscious effort every day to encourage a positive environment. I value everyone on our team because everyone contributes to our success. If your team feels valued and appreciated it creates loyalty, positivity, the desire to work harder and to achieve more. It encourages them to work together as a team. It’s amazing what people are capable of and willing to do when they feel they’re a part of something bigger than themselves.
I always celebrate team members and thank them publicly for even the smallest contributions or achievements. I invite a potential leader to join our leadership team. I regularly conduct strategy sessions with team members who are serious and have the will to do what it takes. These are just some examples, but they go a long way in terms of motivation.
Teamwork Leaves No Room for Drama
Encouraging teamwork is another way to foster a positive, productive team culture … and when you have a positive, productive team culture, it encourages teamwork. Our team leans on each other often. We practice scripts together, help with training, run contests, and discuss improvements we need to make, to name a few. Regardless of where they contribute in the process, everyone can take credit for the success of our team
Having a positive work environment that values teamwork, however, doesn’t mean there’s never any conflict. That’s simply unavoidable. We strive for a drama-free work zone, but if conflict does arise, we address it quickly so it doesn’t fester. I find it most effective to do a round table discussion with those involved, but most definitely behind closed doors. I follow the golden rule, “praise in public, punish in private.” It’s worked extremely well for our team.
Key to Success
Only during the last two years have I shifted to team building and duplicating what I have learned. I’ve realized that it's not about me; It's about helping other people to personally grow and become successful. I invest a lot of resources and time into developing associates. This contributes to the loyalty and empowerment of a positive, productive team culture.
Our office is a place where people want to belong and feel appreciated, maybe for the first time in their careers. That’s something to be excited about. I lead by example. Everything I encourage them to do, I've done myself. I truly feel that decision was a turning point in my career.
My advice to other leaders in FFS?
- Establish clear goals for yourself and the team and hold yourself and the team accountable.
- Lead by example and create a positive and productive team culture.
- Keep drama out of the workplace and establish group norms that center around conduct and respect.
- Appreciate and recognize your team members. Make sure they know that they matter to you and to the rest of the team.
People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care. Genuinely care about your team and their success more than about your own. To be or become a good leader, you have to be a good follower at times. Staying coachable and humble are key. It’s what’s worked for me. I’m thrilled and grateful to say my business and my amazing team have thrived as a result.
About the Author:
Daniela Dubach is one of the leading innovators of the next generation of FFS leaders. As a Champions Club member, she has built a strong and successful business through her great capability to lead and train. Daniela spends a lot of her time assisting those in need of financial security for their future in the school and law enforcement work forces. She also is a dedicated servant to her community in supporting the children in schools all around the greater Los Angeles area.