Tag - Leadership

Assemble Your Winning Team Today!

Who Want’s To Be On A Winning Team?

Are you an entrepreneur that has guided your business to where it is today and you have done it on your own or with minimal assistance?  You might not have done it by choice.  This is especially true if this is your first business or you are starting from scratch after previous ventures.

If you are a business owner in an established company that is trying to reinvent or reorient itself (or if you are a project manager or other independent entity within a company working on a special project) it is also possible to have gotten to where you are on your own.

If you are essentially the only person operating your business, it means that the success of your company hinges squarely on you.  You are able to do great things for your business, but only within your particular skill set.  Furthermore, you are only as effective as far as you can spread yourself out.

It is understandable that there are times when you have to start a business on your own.  You might be the only person that understands the vision you have for your company and it may take time to convince others to understand and realize the value of that vision.  However, issues will eventually arise in your business that you as one person cannot resolve on your own.  In the end, successfully growing your business requires assembling a winning team with the right combination of skills and experience.

This team cannot be composed of just anyone.  Friends, family, and other supportive people in your life are a great boost to your confidence, can keep you going and can provide encouragement.  However, they may not have the skills, experience, or heart to give you the honest criticism necessary for you to realize your goal.

This article will present you with characteristics to look for among potential members to assemble your winning team.

Passion and Investment

Important characteristics each member of your team must have are passion for your business as well as an understanding of your business vision. In a previous blog I wrote titled, “A Vision Statement: Why Your Business Needs One and Steps to Help You Create Your Own,” I mentioned the importance of establishing an overall vision. And, I even referenced a powerful four-word vision statement that Walt Disney established long ago that still is used as the vision statement for the company today. That is, “To Make People Happy.”

These are key things the members of your team must possess.  If members of your team are highly talented, but are not motivated to put in the time and energy needed to make your business a success, they will not be helpful to your cause.  In fact, making up for what they lack or do not do may actually slow your progress toward your goal.  The members of your team have to share your enthusiasm and passion for the work if your business is going to succeed.

One way to tell if members are passionate about your business is to see if they are invested in your business.  Financial investment through capital financing or underwriting costs is one way to show that a team member wants to see the business succeed.  However, this isn’t the only way a person can show their passion or demonstrate that they want to see the business succeed.

Someone willing to use their knowledge and skills to complete work needed to bring the business closer to a goal, but willing to defer compensation until a later date due to temporary financial constraints in the business also demonstrates that team member’s investment and passion for the business. Samuel Adams said it best: “Give credit to whom credit due.” Good talent is hard to find. You will at times get lucky. It feels strange to get lucky. It was a few years back when I struck luck. This person and I have spent countless hours attending business and personal development functions together. However, about a year ago, I started to notice something unique about him. I have never worked with someone before who has unique qualities and traits unlike others. Anyone can say they have “integrity” (it’s never true when proclaimed). Real integrity is unspoken; it’s displayed through natural character.

This real person I am talking about is Rhoel. I am grateful to know such a wonderful person and certainly blessed to have him on our winning team.

Skill Sets and Knowledge

You possess a particular skill set that is useful for operating your business.  This may come in the form of a strong understanding of business principles, management, or other key ideas governing the operations of a business.  Or, your expertise may reside in practical knowledge on the mechanics and history that govern the creation of the product or service your business produces.  Maybe you’re a polyglot with a strong understanding of multiple subjects that apply to your business.  Whatever the case may be, your knowledge and skill base has limitations.  Recognizing your limitations as a business person is, surprisingly, not a weakness.  On the contrary, this is a strength.

Knowing your limitations provides you knowledge of two useful things.  The first thing you have knowledge of is what you do not know.  On a personal level, this gives you self-awareness of something you can work on and improve within yourself.

The second thing that knowledge of your limitations gives you is that it presents you with a goal, a standard that you need to succeed.  You want to find individuals that have skills or knowledge in these areas with expertise at the level of expertise you have set a standard for.  These skilled and knowledgeable individuals can help your business and can fill in the gaps in your company that you are unable to fill with your current skill set.

It is to your advantage that your team collectively possesses a spectrum of knowledge.  What I mean is there should be at least one person with a strong or advanced knowledge and understanding of the processes and mechanics required to analyze and comprehend one or more of the subjects your business requires to operate successfully.  If this range of knowledge is limited within the team, members can still be of benefit if they are willing to expand their knowledge by learning new skills. Having different people on board with different expertise and skill sets sets the stage for creativity to linger and for a heightened new dimension of knowledge to surface. I am a firm believer of bringing in talented people who can contribute to the team greatly through their dedication towards producing quality results.


What was said about the skills and knowledge that you lack and others possess can also be said of experience.  In some cases, those possessing the skills and knowledge your company needs to succeed may also possess the experience your company may also require.  Experience allows people to use circumstances encountered in the past and apply them to similar situations.  The main benefit from this is to decrease the amount of time it takes to complete a task and more efficiently achieve a result.

Why this aspect is discussed separately from skills and knowledge is because skills and knowledge are not always linked to experience.  Skills and knowledge can be learned in a classroom, but experience is something that is accumulated over time.

Employing experience to be successful in business may mean using a combination of experience in different ways.  Some of that experience might only be accessed by hiring and paying for professional services.  Other times, may require the advice of a trusted adviser or mentor willing to assist and guide you for reasons beyond monetary gain.

I grew up with an extraordinary father who was larger than life. He had a tough upbringing, though; a father that passed away when he was young, and a mother who worked 20 hours a day. He quickly learned that he had to navigate through life and find a career on his own. He succeeded in many ways (once voted “Most Colorful Character” in the 2005 Best of Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Review-Journal). Hard-learned lessons inspired him to achieve. Difficult to imagine growing up without a support system….luckily he found his way into a career that suited his personality most.  He showed me that having well rounded experience allows you to be competitive, however, it is important to remember that success relies on our action and initiative. Find something you are good at doing and go towards it.  Try it. You never know if you do not try.

Tunnel Vision and the Need for Outside Opinions

An intense dedication to the pursuit of your passion and your business is admirable, but there can be detrimental effects.  From the perspective of health, you can over-work yourself to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.  The negative effects of this are obvious and speak for themselves.

From the perspective of your business, the intense, single-minded pursuit of your business goals can increase the possibility of you experiencing tunnel vision as you work.  Having tunnel vision as an entrepreneur or a business person is detrimental to your pursuits because it does not allow you to consider what is going on outside of the scope of what is in front of you.  There may be helpful research in front of you that assists in developing your solution or an inspiring innovation.  Staying intensely focused on one thing can cause you to miss those opportunities.

Working together with a team that is passionate about your business can help you avoid this.  Having a team oriented to achieving the same cause and working alongside you opens your thinking up to others.  This open mind is receptive to invaluable insights that can contribute to the ultimate success of your business and your vision.  Furthermore, critiques from others allow you to take a good look at the solutions you have developed.  This may provide a perspective that could indicate a flaw you might not have accounted for in a state of tunnel vision and may save you time and money correcting a flaw found too late down the road.

Concluding Thoughts on What’s Needed for a Great Team

Trying to run your company alone is not a wise decision.  As one person, your limited skills, abilities, and the tendency to stretch yourself too thin will take a toll on you and your business.  Performing too many activities for your business is not efficient and can hurt, rather than help, in the end.

Assembling and utilizing a team to achieve your business goals greatly increases the outcome of success for your business.  Your team is composed of a group of people that are aligned with your company vision and have a passion for the work your business does.  Their investment and belief in your business and its vision motivates them to use their skills, knowledge, and experience to the best of their abilities.  As a result, they work tirelessly to provide useful input into your business operations and projects, hold you as well as each other accountable, and, ideally, are likely to prevent all of you from falling into mindsets and traps that can slow you down as you progress toward your mutual goals.  The right team can help you do the job and see your business thrive, allowing you to reach new levels of success.

Question: What is your Vision & Mission Statement? (JCBarrier Group’s Vision & Mission Statements!)

One of my favorite “Winning Team” quotes by one of the most talented NBA players of all time: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” – Michael Jordan

Have a great week!

P.S: — This is our “Winning (Leadership) Team!”  😎

Winning Team

(Left) Creative Director Karie , (Center) Company President Jennifer, (Right) Director Rhoel 


Taking On the Mantle of Leadership

Leadership skills are paramount to being successful in business.  Leadership qualities come natural to some, to others it is an acquired skill, honed to near perfection through the test of time and trial. Whether you are the founder of a company, a CEO, an assistant manager, or an entry level employee, to enhance your position or advance your career, there will come a time when you will be given the responsibility that extends beyond your comfort zone and your inherent abilities.  With responsibility will come many opportunities to exercise the leadership skills that will distinguish your competencies for the rest of your career.

Hesitation and Learning Leadership

Naturally, there are people with the propensity to shy away from this reality, reluctant to assume the responsibility because of uncertainty or the consequences if they fail.  They may think they do not possess the qualities or abilities needed to take on responsibility and effectively lead.  This feeling is natural (I can’t tell you how many times I have felt this way).  I have come to learn that effective leadership skills are not necessarily exclusive to people with a natural talent for it.  The ability to exercise successful leadership and act accordingly in a situation is not something that is out of your grasp.  In this post, I will be presenting some of my thoughts on leadership and how to identify and develop leadership skills.  Fortunately, leadership skills are universally applicable regardless of the field you are in or your station in life. You will find that they extend beyond your professional life, serving to enhance your personal life as well.

Defining Leadership

What is leadership?  That’s the first question to answer in a post like this. As such, I define leadership as coordinating people of different backgrounds and skills, allowing them to maximize the potential of their talents as needed, and providing them the available resources to accomplish some kind of objective.  Let’s break this down to understand the different parts.


A great leader possesses the ability to assess a particular situation, then formulate and execute a strategy to complete an objective.  They also ensure they set an example for the team they are leading.  They do not ask the people on their team to take on a task of great difficulty that they have not already done or would not be willing to do themselves. However, leaders are keenly aware of when and how to effectively collaborate with their team.

 “People of different backgrounds and skills…”

Regardless of the situation or the task at hand, leaders will have teams of people that come from diverse backgrounds and abilities.  There are varying personality traits and dynamics like introverts and extroverts, people of different races, belief systems, and so on.  There are also different levels of skills each person possesses for the task at hand.  Some may have years of training or education, while others may be inexperienced and untested with a limited skill set.  As a leader, it’s crucial that you know your team, while recognizing each team member’s individual skills and strengths, along with their weaknesses. It’s also good to identify the dynamics and animations that help to create the cohesion that binds them together, serving to foster an “esprit de corps” that collectively delivers positive and impactful results.

“Allowing them to maximize the potential of their talents as needed…”

Each member of the team you lead has their own skills that they bring to the table. Another thing to be aware of is recognizing the potential your team members possess.  The potential of people to accomplish goals and exercise their talents is greater than they may realize.  As a leader, encouraging them to express their innermost thoughts and ideas helps them to discover more about themselves and their abilities and skills.

“Providing them the available resources to accomplish some kind of objective.”

A great leader does everything in their power to set their team up to succeed.  There is no way to provide everything for them, but doing everything in your power as a leader to provide your team with the resources they need increases the possibility of success.

Developing Leadership Skills

Developing the skills to become a great leader does not happen overnight.  It takes time to analyze, access and then acknowledge (believe me, I am still learning a great deal about people that blows my mind!). Remember, the key to developing strong leadership skills: never stop learning how to lead.  There are many sources to learn leadership skills from, but an effective way to accomplish leadership development is to do it on 2 different levels.  The first is on a personal development level and the second is on the level of professional development.

Personal Leadership Development

Personal development takes place when you work to develop yourself as a leader.  Leading others cannot happen if you do not work on improving your current skill set.  Developing your own skills and realizing your potential allows you to develop experience for future situations you may face.  Developing skills can come from reading books on leadership or going through educational programs online or learning in person.  However, one way that I believe is most effective at personally developing leadership skills and imparting leadership lessons effectively is through mentorship.

Finding a mentor that has exercised leadership in the kind of field or fields you want to become proficient in can provide guidance in many ways.  Their past experience can provide insight and guidance to help solve challenges you currently face.  Their advice can also help you decrease gaps in your current experience or knowledge.  Decreasing these gaps with the help of your mentors provides you the opportunity to resolve challenges relatively faster and with greater confidence.  Time saved from not having to struggle with old challenges frees up time for you to test yourself with new challenges.  New challenges, developing new skills, and stepping outside of your comfort zone builds and strengthens personal development.  Challenging yourself in new situations induces your capacity and fortitude to become accustomed to new and challenging situations that are less likely to catch you by surprise.  These are all ways that can help you grow and develop as a leader on a personal level.  But, this is only half of the equation.  To fully develop as a leader, we need to develop the second half of the equation.  This is leadership on the professional level.

Professional Leadership Development

Developing leadership skills on a professional level means applying what you have personally learned in your professional setting.  This is the most effective way to fully develop leadership skills: through the practice of leadership.  Take what you have learned on your own about leadership and apply those ideas and lessons in your place of work and other places in your life where you have authority or responsibility over others (e.g. clubs, volunteer organizations, or other groups you belong to). The idea is to use these new skills to motivate, organize, and improve the dynamics of how your team functions.  Getting closer to the definition of leadership developed earlier in this post (or even surpassing previous standards) is one step toward becoming a great leader and growing your skills.  Remember to allow your team to exercise their creativity and their talents; monitoring their work too closely or micromanaging their work, especially if they are performing well, is something leaders are to avoid.

The End Result of Leadership

While leading the team to complete the task at hand results in success, a great leader knows that there is still a greater end.  As stated before, you never stop learning how to lead.  There is always more to learn, and there is always need for leaders.  The ultimate result of leadership is not only to coordinate a team, manage team dynamics, and maximize team potential.  A great leader is able to build up their team and inspire members of that team to become leaders themselves.  Leaders not only want to see those team members and those that come after them become just as great at leadership as they were.  They want those future leaders to surpass them and set the standard even higher.


Myself and other panelists at a 2016 Tea Time Event.  We shared our stories about pursuing dreams and leadership success with high school students at East Career & Technical Academy in Las Vegas, NV.


Leadership, as its final result, is continuing to build people up and help them to grow and excel.  It is hard work and it takes time to become proficient at it, but I hope this advice helped to break down some of the steps to eventually reach leadership success.  If you haven’t taken that step to develop some leadership skills, just remember: great leaders had to start somewhere…and they have never mastered leadership.  They are always learning – each and every day.

Have a great week.


How Does Your Business Change the World?

The thought of how your business does something like change the world is an exciting process to ponder, right?  The work your business performs does change the world to some degree.  Doing something to change the world can mean many things. For example, it can mean that you are a nonprofit providing clean water to regions that lack basic necessities, or that you are developing a new cancer drug to save lives.  To another degree, the work your business does to change the world may simply be to provide happiness and recreation for people.  Whether you are saving lives or enriching lives with happiness, you are making a positive impact. Embrace it!

Knowing what your company does to bring about positive change is beneficial for your company and for those you serve.  It serves as a complement to your vision statement to keep your business moving in the right direction.  It can also provide motivation and stir passion in you and your employees for the work that you do.  However, when I say “change the world,” I do not mean it in an abstract way; I mean it in a more familiar context.

To Change the World Is To Be Successful In Business

In business, doing something to change the world means doing business the right way.  It means adopting a mindset that what you do as a business is not done only for the sake of monetary reasons.  Instead, it means adopting a mindset that you are making a positive impact in the lives of your customers.  This is where a different focus to running your business is adopted.  Income is dependent on the relationships you have cultivated with your customers to keep them coming back to you.  The only way to cultivate positive relationships is to develop trust with those customers. Trust is the key to experiencing rewarding and lasting relationships with quality individuals (who doesn’t naturally want that?).  Check out this interesting article I recently came across in Harvard Business Review titled, The Neuroscience of Trust.

Here are some ideas to consider if you want to develop a “change the world” business mindset:

Know The Scope of Your Business and Expand It to Change the World

Thinking about the analytical side of business, it’s highly important to understand both your target audience and the current market share.  These are the people that make up “the world” that you change.  These are the people that benefit from your company’s services and products.  Continue serving this target audience and you’ll do very well.  If you decide to expand and grow, you end up impacting more lives in the process with your products and services.

Regardless of the size of your market, put emphasis on getting to know your customers in some way or another. Trust is never given; always earned! There are people that have already established a vision to change the course of history and make a monumental impact. There’s nothing wrong with having over-the-top aspirations. Be yourself and never let someone bring you down. I grew up with an incredible father (who I credit my love for business and marketing from) and, for some reason, he would randomly say, “never judge a book by its cover.” You never know who you might be sitting next to at the airport, or standing next to in the grocery store line. I agree wholeheartedly.  Life is interesting, indeed. Never pass up an opportunity to know great people….and by this, YOU can change the world simply by your positive impact in society.

Positive Impacts Your Business Makes to Change the World

What does your business provide to your target market?  A product?  A service?  Whether you have a product or service that cures a disease or provides a recreational service, you are impacting someone’s life.  As a business, your focus on relationship building is tailored to the needs of your customers.  Don’t look at it as “I need to give them what they want or they won’t buy what I’m offering.”  Instead, adopt the mindset of “I have made a positive impact on them once before.  How can I continue making a positive impact?  How can I provide a better experience for them in the future?”  Wanting to change their lives rather than fearing your market share allows you to focus on what you need to do to keep those customers happy, all while trust continues to gain in strength.

Let Your Employees Know How They Change the World

The best way to empower your employees is to follow the vision of the company, lead by example, and enjoy the job.  With a mindset of your business making a positive impact, you can empower them with the knowledge that you are all changing the world and changing lives.  The focus is letting them know they are not coming to work to drudge away hours of their life and leave.  They are helping to make the world a better place in some way.  Let them know that their work matters and remind them of that fact.  They are changing the world, making a positive impact, and their work is greatly appreciated.

Change the World With Your New Developments

As you develop new products and services, be aware that your work is going to make some kind of impact on your customers.  For some of them, that impact may be minor.  For others, the impact may be tremendous.  If your business is genuinely motivated to pursue its passion and innovate and if your employees are motivated by that passion and a mindset to change the world, it will show through in the quality of the finished product and services you deliver.

Are You Ready to Be Successful In Business?

Whether you have a worldwide or local impact, or if the difference you make is considered big or small, consider approaching it with the mindset that you are changing the world.  Changing the world means adopting a mindset that is focused on building relationships with your customers and how you can continue to impact their lives and experiences with your products and services.  Focus on building the relationships and success is sure to follow.


Hopefully this blog entry has been helpful and has inspired you to think about how to do business in a different way.  Now ask yourself this question: How does my business change the world?

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