It still comes as a shock to some people: The Cubs won the World Series during their lifetime. Just as the Boston Red Sox broke their own curse 12 years earlier, the Cubs are no longer the hapless losers.
The one person credited for all this success is Theo Epstein, but if you ask him, he will defer credit to the players. He says it was the chemistry of the team. The players enjoy working with one another. They lift one another up to greater heights than they could achieve individually.
I sat down recently with Larry Freiman, managing partner at the boutique Atlanta law firm of MendenFreiman, which focuses on business law, estate planning and estate administration. Founded in 1997 by George Menden and Freiman, the firm has lawyers who specialize in helping businesses and individuals plan for the future.
Over the hour-plus conversation, Larry shared a few nuggets of wisdom that I would like to pass along.
Just as in baseball, when building a team, there is a huge learning curve. Sometimes it might feel as if you take one step forward and two steps back. Eventually, if you stay the course and follow the defined path forward, you begin to grow and get better.
Learning from each step forward helps growth soon become the norm. Stick with it long enough, and growth becomes exponential.
For those starting to build a successful organization, Larry shared his step-by-step approach:
- Create a statement of strategic purpose.
- Create systems to run your business.
- Create loyalty by making life simple for your clients.
Larry said that during 20 years in business, the times when MendenFreiman has seen lower-than-anticipated growth have been when it has veered from its statement of strategic purpose. However, when the firm does follow the path and lives within its purpose, the collaborative energy creates huge growth opportunities for staff and clients.
That is Lesson 1: Stay on purpose.
Lesson 2: Let systems run your business, and hire the right people to run the systems.
The key here is to set up systems correctly. Each system will require a different skill set. When you know the exact skills needed to run these systems, finding the right people becomes easier.
You will have identified all the skill sets for running your company, and using those as a minimum benchmark, you can hire people based more on attitude and cultural fit. Your team becomes much stronger this way.
Lesson 3: Make life simple for the people around you.
In the previous lesson, we saw that systems can make life easier for employees. So now we must make life simple for clients. A key component to a good sales system is to make it easy for a customer to buy. Now extrapolate that idea to everything you can do for a client.
In today’s culture, ease of use is a necessity. The less a client has to do, the more valuable you are to that client. Larry promises that his firm meets its clients’ needs, then delivers extra value to them by going the extra step.
His team promises good service and delivers great service.
The secret sauce that Larry Freiman shared with me is the same sauce Theo Epstein uses. Their teams have great relationships with one another and are able to lift one another to greater heights than they could achieve individually. The result is a winning attitude on the field, in the clubhouse, in the office and at home. Life not only becomes easier, but also becomes better.
Isn’t that what we all want? Imagine each of us winning the World Series of our lifetime.
Jason Adler is a John Maxwell-certified executive coach (www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/jasonadler) helping people and their organizations hire and keep quality employees.