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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]99% of the time when I ask people why they aren’t taking steps to follow their dreams, they say they are afraid to fail.

Wait.

If you just said, “that’s not me, though” I’m going to kindly reel you back in.

FEAR AFFECTS EVERY SINGLE PERSON…

ALL OF US.

Fear of failure is one of the biggest reasons so many people don’t do what they were made to do. They’re so concerned about failing that they don’t think about what could happen if they succeed. If you start with your biggest excuse and work backward, you will almost always find that your reasoning is based in fear. Fear of what others will think. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of starting over.

Feeling fear means you’re about to do something big. It means whatever is about to happen is going to determine how your journey continues. When you’re scared, you know that if you do what it is that you’re scared to do, you will be different on the other side. Things will be different, relationships will be different, circumstances will be different. If it weren’t a big deal, you wouldn’t be afraid. But your fear is a physical indicator that you are alive and present and that you’re about to do something big.

If we treat failure as a reset button, it can be a lot less scary. Failure is life’s way of telling us that our idea didn’t work and we need more time. Or more training. Or more patience. Or more grit. If we avoid trying new things because we are afraid to fail, we aren’t allowing ourselves to succeed.

When we talk about facing our fears, we often speak about being brave. But having courage is not the same as being fearless. Being courageous is being afraid and doing it anyway. Everyone can let fear stop them, but the brave ones feel the fear and do it anyway.

This month, let’s feel the fear and do it anyway. Let’s stop worrying about what could happen if we fail, and start getting excited about what will happen when we succeed.

My challenge for you this week: Decide that October is the month where you feel the fear and do it anyway. Identify a major fear you have, write it on a sticky note, and put it on a bathroom mirror. When you identify it and give it a name, it begins to lose it’s power.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column]
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As I observed the careful precision of that car wash team, I could identify six things that made them work so well together, and that resulted in an impressive final product:

  1. Communication- the team expertly communicated what they were doing, when they were finished, where they noticed a problem, and when they needed help
  2. Chemistry- the whole time they worked, the team smiled and joked around. They were clearly focused on their job, but it was evident they had a strong personal connection and were happy doing what they were doing.
  3. Common Goals- the way the team worked meticulously on their specific part of the car made it clear that everyone was working for the same purpose: to make my car look its best. And it showed. They shared a common goal.
  4. Trust- very little had to be said as they washed, scrubbed and dried my car. Each member of the team trusted that the others were doing their job, and doing their job right. If one needed help, they called out and knew someone would be there to help them.
  5. Accountability- it would have taken me an hour to get my entire car as clean as these guys did in 20 minutes. Each person was accountable for their specific role and executed it with careful precision. Because of their accountability, each area of the car sparkled in the Florida sun.
  6. Commitment- there was a line of cars after mine, but the team didn’t seem rushed. They were efficient and committed to providing top-notch service. They didn’t cut corners or do anything halfway. Their commitment to their service truly impressed me.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are running; if your team doesn’t possess these six traits, they’re not as productive or successful as they could be. This little south Florida carwash killed it when it came to teamwork, and inspired me to make sure I’m bringing these six traits to the teams I’m on.

Your challenge for this week:

Do a careful analysis of your team and pinpoint the traits your team does exceptionally well and the one your team could work on. If your team can master these six traits, they’ll be unstoppable!

During my 10 years in the NBA — eight as a player in Dallas, Utah and Detroit and two as a broadcaster in Minnesota — I noticed a clear correlation between accountability and team performance.

Every team had a distinct culture, whether it was on the court, in the locker room, at practice, or even on team flights.

After defeat, players for winning teams could be heard saying “my fault” and “my bad.” They acted as if they lost the game all by themselves. There was this strong sense of accountability. Even though it was a team effort, each player understood how his play directly contributed to the team’s results. You could hear a chorus of players consoling each other and taking ownership in a mistake or lack of production that contributed to the loss.

And when that same team won (which was the norm), the players complimented each other and never bragged about their own play: “Hey! No big deal. I am just doing my job as a team member.” Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that locker room culture?

When I played on losing teams, or visited locker rooms for post-game interviews of losing teams, I noticed a vast difference. Players were self-serving, and narcissistic observations filled the air. There were comments like: “I’m the best player in this league!” “I’m glad my teammates got me the ball.” “I need the ball!”

It wasn’t the smell of sweaty uniforms, BenGay or basketball sneakers that made it hard to breathe. It was the self-aggrandizing commentary that sucked the oxygen out of the room. A whole lot of “I” and “me” filled the room.

Thirteen years after leaving my broadcasting job with the Minnesota Timberwolves, I see the same issues in corporate America. Winning organizations have a culture of accountability, just like winning NBA teams. Organizations that struggle to survive or continue to underperform have similar characteristics to those found in losing NBA locker rooms.

The lack of accountability within the business community is at an all-time high and is degrading revenues.

Only 44 percent of employees feel that people in their organizations take full responsibility for their actions, according to a recent poll by Modern Survey. Other surveys suggest that up to 80 percent of business leaders struggle with holding others accountable. This is significant because accountability has to start at the top.

I am always concerned when I consult with organizations and hear their strategic plans to grow sales and increase revenue, yet there is no attention given to their culture. Many business leaders just don’t understand how important it is to build the right culture. They have dissention, unhealthy factions, bitter employees, and high turnover, but want to improve the bottom line and are running on a treadmill going nowhere fast.

Accountability improves results by improving culture, naturally improving employee engagement, leading to performance improvement.

Here are 10 benefits of establishing a culture of accountability:

  1. Attracts and retains high performers.
  2. Rids you of poor performers. They will leave on their own.
  3. Defines how you make commitments to one another on projects that require team effort.
  4. Greatly increases job satisfaction and corporate alignment.
  5. Employees are more likely to take on responsibilities that match their strengths.
  6. Improves how employees interact when things go right or when things go wrong.
  7.  Employees take more ownership in their jobs.
  8. Employees are more highly engaged, ultimately resulting in increased productivity.
  9. Goals are more easily reached and maintained.
  10. Less time and energy is wasted on covering tracks or destructive behavior.