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I could not order an Uber, make travel plans, figure out that my flight had been moved to the opposite end of the airport, or tell the taxi driver where I needed to go without effective communication. I had to be able to effectively communicate directions and expectations and actively receive the feedback. If my Uber driver got lost, it was probably because of a mix up in communication. If I didn’t know my flight had been moved, it was probably because the change wasn’t communicated effectively. Or maybe I wasn’t listening or paying attention, that’s totally possible too.

Our businesses thrive when everyone communicates. Our companies rise to the next level when leaders pay close attention to how their team members receive feedback and adjust their communication styles appropriately. When businesses suffer, when relationships suffer, the first thing to shut down is communication. Ironically, it’s the one thing we need to focus on to find a solution.

Communication is not just talking; it’s listening. Not just hearing, but listening. My mom used to say the reason we have two ears, and one mouth is because we need to listen twice as much as we speak. When your team is communicating with you, how are you showing them that you are listening?

Action steps to build a team that communicates:

Keep Your Door Open

Keeping your office door open builds trust and is a physical reminder to your team that you are ready and willing to engage in conversation that will get your team to the next level. Model a willingness to listen and watch how your team will follow suit

Create Different Avenues For Communication

Not everyone is comfortable with a face to face conversation, especially if they have an issue or problem. Allow your team to communicate with you (and others) in a way that is most comfortable for them. This could be email, text, phone calls or even a suggestion on a bulletin board in the breakroom.

Follow Up

Sometimes, giving a lot of information all at once can be overwhelming for those who are listening. Get in the habit of following up in writing after a conversation, team meeting or conference call. Break down what was discussed, deadlines, and goals in writing to make sure everyone is on the same page.


Talent (and hours and hours of practice) is what gets balls in hoops. However, chemistry is what puts your teammate in the exact spot that you need him, way before you know you need him there. Chemistry is the way a team works together, the way they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use both to move the team forward. But chemistry does not come with intense trainings or intense video analysis of last week’s game. Chemistry happens when a team respects and values each other, connects on a deeper level, and works together to meet a common goal.

The teams that are coming up on top aren’t necessarily the ones with the most talent. Instead, they’re the teams that focus on team chemistry and connection. Your business is the same way. If you solely focus on profit and productivity and don’t emphasize chemistry, you won’t reach the next level.

If you want to be a business that defies the odds, that breaks the mold, that comes out on top even when the competition is fierce, you have to consistently work to build the culture and chemistry of your team.

Here are three ways you can do that this week:

  1. Connect team members with similar strengths, passions, and interests- When your team can connect on a personal level, it will make it easier for them to connect professionally as well.
  2. Share a meal- Sharing a meal together is a classic way to bring people together. Whether you invite everyone to have lunch together in the breakroom or you host a dinner after work, getting everyone together in a casual atmosphere with good food will help build relationships and improve team chemistry.
  3. Address things that are hurting your team chemistry- if certain people on your team seem to isolate themselves from the rest of the group, or have negative energy that brings others down, address this. Many times, this behavior is based out of fear of being excluded or misunderstood. Open the lines of communication to give everyone a chance to feel included.

You can have the most talented people on your team, but if they don’t work well together, you will limit your potential and make it harder to reach the next level.  

As we prepare for the launch of Walter Bond’s newest initiative, The Personal Development Mastermind Group, we got to thinking about teamwork. About how every successful team is made up of committed individuals who share many of the same qualities but also offer a diverse and fresh perspective. The Walter Bond team is made up of people from all over with different skill sets and experiences, and it’s their individual strengths paired with the common goal that makes everything run smoothly.

Chances are, you are part of several different teams in all areas of your life. Your marriage is a team, your relationship with your friends is a team effort, your relationship with your kids is a team effort. At work, you cycle through many different roles on many different levels and teams that contribute to the success of the company. So how can you be sure you’re adding value to the team you’re on? How can you be sure you’re bringing your A game to the table?

See how you measure up against these 6 characteristics to determine if your team is getting the best version of you:

Show Up
Making an impact on the people that rely on you starts with being present. Be where you say you’ll be when you say you’ll be there. Actually, get there 5 minutes before. Being prompt and present is one way to show your team that you take your roles and responsibilities seriously. And being physically there isn’t enough. Don’t show up only to spend all of your time distracted by your phone or off in la la land thinking about your weekend plans. Be mentally and physically present to give your team the best version of you. In your personal life, showing up means sticking to your commitments. It means sticking around for the hard conversations instead of running away. It means showing the people in your life that they matter just by being there.

Listen
Everyone has been on a team with someone who just won’t stop talking. You can tell that instead of listening to what you’re saying, they are already formulating what they’re going to spout out next. These people are exhausting and take precious time away from the task at hand. Don’t be that person. Instead, use some of these techniques to practice active listening:

  • Make eye contact with the speaker
  • Take notice of your posture (slouching or crossing your arms makes you look defensive or uninterested)
  • Non-verbal gestures like nodding or smiling to let the speaker know you’re comprehending what they are saying
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand, or ask for clarification
  • Recite information back to ensure you got everything right

Be open to feedback and constructive criticism. The reason we have two ears and one mouth is because we should listen twice as much as we speak.

Be Flexible
Naturally, when you get a group of individuals together, there is always going to be some sort of conflict or difference of opinions. This is fine, healthy actually, and often results in healthy dialogue that leads to progress. Being flexible (without being walked on) is a vital trait of a valuable team player. Whether it is with your schedule, the specific process for a task, or the jobs you are assigned, being open-minded and flexible can help the team move ahead. Be willing to compromise and do things differently for the overall benefit of the team. A rigid and uncompromising attitude makes you hard to work with, and honestly, hard to like in general.

Be Others-Focused
This is not the “(your name here) show” This is a team effort, which means everyone’s thoughts and voices and opinions and ideas should have an opportunity to be expressed. Your ideas are not always the best ideas. You shine brightest when you give others the opportunity to shine. Know your strengths and use them with confidence to move towards success, while always pointing out the abilities and strengths of others. Whether it is your spouse, your best friend or your employees, more of them and less of you is a trusted recipe for an uplifted and motivated team.

Positive Attitude
Every day might not be good, but there is good in every day. Find the positive in every situation and refuse to be the gossip, the victim or the naysayer. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything; it simply means choosing to see the good in the people around you. It means showing up in each relationship with the expectation that there will be good that comes from this. Find ways to make others happy. Find ways to see the opportunity instead of the obstacle. Every team needs someone who will boost morale, stay on track and keep an eye on the emotional temperature of the group. That person is often underappreciated but can be the glue that holds it all together.

Gratitude and Accountability
An impact player is accountable for his/her actions. There is no finger pointing or blaming or excuses, only accountability and responsibility. You dropped the ball? Admit it. You messed up big time, own up to it. You said you were going to do something? Do it. Your success or your failure is dependent on you. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You are in control of what you do and how you do it. Welcome to adulthood; where you’re accountable for your actions.

While you’re always responsible for your own actions, there is power in showing gratitude for the efforts of others. A simple thank you goes a long way, especially to someone who believes their work is going unnoticed. You bring your A-game when you walk into every situation just thankful for another opportunity. When you express gratitude to others on your team, the team feels more connected, more valued, more appreciated. Start every day listing three things you are grateful for and watch as you begin to notice more of these things as you interact with your team.

There is no “I” in team, which means this team, this marriage, this friendship, this business partnership, is not about you. But the team does need you. You’re in this relationship or situation for a reason, and the people you’re working with deserve your A-game.

Want to learn more about how to be an effective team player and create effective teams? Click here to learn more about the Personal Development Mastermind Group launching Oct 24th. If you’re serious about getting to the next level and giving your team your best, you won’t want to miss it.

If you are going to make it through this week, heck, if you are going to make it through this Monday, you are going to need the help of a team. The age-old saying “there’s no I in team” may be overdone, but it is true. A team of any kind, whether it’s a business relationship, a marriage, or a friendship, requires all members to be intentional, interactive and involved. Every successful business is backed by a group of people that are all committed to the same goal. Building a team is foundational in building your business. A great leader focuses on the strengths of his/her team and leads by serving. Anyone can be a boss, but a leader is others-focused and relentless in their pursuit of unity.

There are two types of people in the world: “Here I Am” kind of people and “There You Are” kind of people. The first type walks into any situation and makes decisions based on what is best for them personally. They are self-motivated and put their interests above those of everyone else. “There You Are” people walk into any situation and make everyone else feel valued. These types of people create solid teams of hardworking employees who feel appreciated and connected.

Not being a team player is not an option if you want to get to the next level. The inability to compromise, listen and collaborate will result in your business becoming stagnant. 100% of the time. You need sounding boards, you need people who will tell you you are on the right track, or that your idea does not align with the mission statement of the company. You need a diverse community of people that all have their eyes on the same goal that you do. If your business is not thriving like you want it to, take a look at your team. More importantly, take a look at how you are impacting your team.

We know from experience how powerful it can be to have someone speak positivity and encouragement into your life. We know that the first step in becoming who you are meant to be is self-awareness. You don’t know what you don’t know. This is why we have launched the Personal Development MasterMind Group. People are already signing up for this monthly, interactive personal development meeting that provides the opportunity to learn the skills required to get to the next level in all areas of life. When you join this elite group, you will master things like time management, developing positive self-talk, being an influential communicator and how to foster the relationships that are crucial to your happiness. And that is just the beginning.

You are who you surround yourself with. Look around. Do your daily interactions and attitude towards teamwork scream “Here I Am” or “There You Are”?

Today, think of three ways you could be a better team player. What can you do to shine a light on the strengths and abilities of others? You will be amazed at what happens when you begin to shift your focus from what you bring to the table to how you can help others bring their best to the table.

Keep an eye on our social media platforms for more information (and early bird discounts) on Walter’s brand new Personal Development Mastermind Group.

Go be the leader you would want to follow.

-Walter

As we prepare for the launch of Walter Bond’s newest initiative, The Personal Development Mastermind Group, we got to thinking about teamwork. About how every successful team is made up of committed individuals who share many of the same qualities but also offer a diverse and fresh perspective. The Walter Bond team is made up of people from all over with different skill sets and experiences, and it’s their individual strengths paired with the common goal that makes everything run smoothly.

Chances are, you are part of several different teams in all areas of your life. Your marriage is a team, your relationship with your friends is a team effort, your relationship with your kids is a team effort. At work, you cycle through many different roles on many different levels and teams that contribute to the success of the company. So how can you be sure you’re adding value to the team you’re on? How can you be sure you’re bringing your A game to the table?

See how you measure up against these 6 characteristics to determine if your team is getting the best version of you:

Show Up
Making an impact on the people that rely on you starts with being present. Be where you say you’ll be when you say you’ll be there. Actually, get there 5 minutes before. Being prompt and present is one way to show your team that you take your roles and responsibilities seriously. And being physically there isn’t enough. Don’t show up only to spend all of your time distracted by your phone or off in la la land thinking about your weekend plans. Be mentally and physically present to give your team the best version of you. In your personal life, showing up means sticking to your commitments. It means sticking around for the hard conversations instead of running away. It means showing the people in your life that they matter just by being there.

Listen
Everyone has been on a team with someone who just won’t stop talking. You can tell that instead of listening to what you’re saying, they are already formulating what they’re going to spout out next. These people are exhausting and take precious time away from the task at hand. Don’t be that person. Instead, use some of these techniques to practice active listening:

  • Make eye contact with the speaker
  • Take notice of your posture (slouching or crossing your arms makes you look defensive or uninterested)
  • Non-verbal gestures like nodding or smiling to let the speaker know you’re comprehending what they are saying
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand, or ask for clarification
  • Recite information back to ensure you got everything right

Be open to feedback and constructive criticism. The reason we have two ears and one mouth is because we should listen twice as much as we speak.

Be Flexible
Naturally, when you get a group of individuals together, there is always going to be some sort of conflict or difference of opinions. This is fine, healthy actually, and often results in healthy dialogue that leads to progress. Being flexible (without being walked on) is a vital trait of a valuable team player. Whether it is with your schedule, the specific process for a task, or the jobs you are assigned, being open-minded and flexible can help the team move ahead. Be willing to compromise and do things differently for the overall benefit of the team. A rigid and uncompromising attitude makes you hard to work with, and honestly, hard to like in general.

Be Others-Focused
This is not the “(your name here) show” This is a team effort, which means everyone’s thoughts and voices and opinions and ideas should have an opportunity to be expressed. Your ideas are not always the best ideas. You shine brightest when you give others the opportunity to shine. Know your strengths and use them with confidence to move towards success, while always pointing out the abilities and strengths of others. Whether it is your spouse, your best friend or your employees, more of them and less of you is a trusted recipe for an uplifted and motivated team.

Positive Attitude
Every day might not be good, but there is good in every day. Find the positive in every situation and refuse to be the gossip, the victim or the naysayer. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything; it simply means choosing to see the good in the people around you. It means showing up in each relationship with the expectation that there will be good that comes from this. Find ways to make others happy. Find ways to see the opportunity instead of the obstacle. Every team needs someone who will boost morale, stay on track and keep an eye on the emotional temperature of the group. That person is often underappreciated but can be the glue that holds it all together.

Gratitude and Accountability
An impact player is accountable for his/her actions. There is no finger pointing or blaming or excuses, only accountability and responsibility. You dropped the ball? Admit it. You messed up big time, own up to it. You said you were going to do something? Do it. Your success or your failure is dependent on you. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You are in control of what you do and how you do it. Welcome to adulthood; where you’re accountable for your actions.

While you’re always responsible for your own actions, there is power in showing gratitude for the efforts of others. A simple thank you goes a long way, especially to someone who believes their work is going unnoticed. You bring your A-game when you walk into every situation just thankful for another opportunity. When you express gratitude to others on your team, the team feels more connected, more valued, more appreciated. Start every day listing three things you are grateful for and watch as you begin to notice more of these things as you interact with your team.

There is no “I” in team, which means this team, this marriage, this friendship, this business partnership, is not about you. But the team does need you. You’re in this relationship or situation for a reason, and the people you’re working with deserve your A-game.

Want to learn more about how to be an effective team player and create effective teams? Click here to learn more about the Personal Development Mastermind Group launching Oct 24th. If you’re serious about getting to the next level and giving your team your best, you won’t want to miss it.

I loved my NBA career. For a moment in time I was among the best in the world. Riding buses with teammates Karl Malone and John Stockton, and with legendary coach Jerry Sloan riding up front. I played against Michael Jordan and saw the fire in his eyes that burned like an Olympic torch. Everywhere I turned were highly successful, uber-competitive over achievers. It was an exclusive club that was nearly impossible to get into. One of my greatest lessons from being on winning teams and around great achievers was on accountability.

All you heard was “my fault” or “my bad.” The ownership of mistakes and the demand for excellence was refreshing. In fact, a professional athlete’s entire off-season was devoted to personal improvement. A locker room of over achievers.

Then, I stumbled into my transition out of professional sports and into the business world. I honestly thought the atmosphere of excellence was a secret that only elite athletes understood. As our business grew and as I graduated out of speaking to high school kids in musty gymnasiums, I began to do awards and recognition programs. It exposed me to the best of the best within the corporate world. I would often converse backstage with these proud recipients. I began to relate to their confidence, commitment to excellence, and accountability – just like Stockton and Malone. I felt like I was back in the locker room and surrounded by over achievers. I’ve noticed that same fire burning from top-rated sales people, both men and women. It got me excited, and all of a sudden I felt back at home.

Here is the bottom line of what I’ve learned frolicking around two different worlds of excellence: accountability is the secret of high performers. You can’t have excellence without accountability. Excellence is not a state of being, excellence is a journey of improvement fueled by accountability.

How often do you say “my fault” or “my bad?” How often do you commit yourself to self-improvement? In our leadership training, you will notice the conversation about accountability is powerful. It’s the secret sauce to success by high performers. Our leadership training will change your life. Accountability didn’t start with the players, it began with our leader Jerry Sloan. Accountability in your culture begins with you.


Have you checked out our Visionary Leadership Training Program?  Don’t delay the price increases on 11/1

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The old style of leadership is for the king/queen to sit on his/her throne and bark out orders. Anyone that doesn’t comply—off with your head. Sounds like an episode of Games of Thrones, right? But leaders are still leading the same way: figuratively beheading people from a big chair every day. In this dog-eat-dog world, are you behaving like a dog?

The real question is this: do you still subscribe to this archaic form of leadership? If so, no wonder you have low levels of engagement, high turnover, and trust issues on your team. Nobody wants to be beheaded at the town square. Step into the modern day, and lead with a different focus. Smart leaders remove the layers from their organizations and buy in to modern leadership, where your focus will qualify or disqualify you. Do you focus on your people serving you or do you focus on serving your people? Wouldn’t you rather have high engagement, accountability, trust, effective teamwork, and employees who take pride in your company and culture? You can have all this by simply having the right focus. You should serve your most valuable commodity: your workforce. Nothing is more important than that. You must take care of your internal customers first if you want to wow your external customers.

Leaders, your biggest challenge is attracting, developing, and retaining top talent. Do you focus on serving or being served? I think we know the answer to this open-book test. You can stay on your throne and be average, or you can step down to earth and soar as a servant leader.

There is no language in the business world about what a professional does. What good is a title if we don’t understand what a professional is gifted at doing? The key to employee engagement, chemistry, and productivity is taking that next step as a leader and understanding what your talent is. There are many similarities between sports and business: competition, preparation, goal setting, and teamwork are required of both. The gap I fill is helping the business world know and benefit from what the sports world already understands. Slotting a player into a position takes about 15 minutes, but understanding what a professional does and where they fit is where the magic happens. In my 15 years as a peak performance and teamwork guru, I’ve told many people that you can’t build a team with chemistry if you don’t know what a person does innately. How can you build a team around you if you don’t know what you do?

In basketball, there are a lot of point guards, but they are all very different. Russell Westbrook, a perennial all-star and an NBA superstar, is an athletic, hard-charging, ball of energy. He plays with a relentless and reckless abandon that has grown on most basketball purists. Steph Curry, another point guard and MVP, is very different. He is an excellent shooter with amazing intelligence for the game. They are both amazing NBA point guards, but they couldn’t be more different.

If you take a look at your org chart, you have a bunch of titles in your organization. However, your task is to determine what each professional does and how each person fits. We started by asking what you do. How do you influence your organization? I know you are an executive, but what do you do? The first flaw that I saw in business leadership was that leaders weren’t perfectly secure in their own skin. How can you build a team around you if you aren’t completely sure of yourself? Once you know what you do, it’s about backfilling your organization with the right balance of abilities and strengths—not titles.

It’s a puzzle to build a team, but as a leader, you are the first piece we need to figure out. Building teamwork is no different. This puzzle has five pieces, and every department needs to have each of these pieces represented with the right balance.

Our teamwork concepts will save you the lost time and frustration of hiring the wrong person. Our teamwork principles and strategies will empower leaders with self-discovery and a new language to empower leaders to build, repair, and equip your team to thrive. The benefits are increased production, increased employee engagement, less attrition, better hires, and more.

Your job is to analyze—with our help—each person on your org chart by what they do so that each piece fits and works in harmony.

That is what makes sports so exciting: athletes express themselves differently, and the coaches and GMs make it all fit. This is a tough task, but it should be exciting to finally have some language to help you build your teams and kick some real butt.

If you are a leader, this is your job. With iTEAM, we are about to teach you a strategy that will empower you to build winning teams in your sleep—and fix broken teams too. In fact, after I am done with you, you will be able to teach HR a thing or two about teams. You can’t be an effective leader without understanding and becoming an expert on teamwork.


Click the button below to receive a complimentary iTeam Audio Download where I teach you how to:

  • Build trust and respect between team members. 
  • Collaborate and best use of each team member’s talents.
  • Ignite mutual understanding and respect. 
  • Delegate tasks in a way that magnifies strength. 
  • Build micro-teams and how to fix dysfunctional teams. 
  • Boost employee engagement and job satisfaction.

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How can a leader build a winning team without being an expert on teamwork? Impossible! Any leadership training that doesn’t focus on teamwork strategy is incomplete. How did the business world miss this? How many leadership trainings have you experienced that never laid out a teamwork strategy you can employ? If you are leading a team right now, what is your current teamwork strategy? Has anyone ever taught you a teamwork strategy or concept you can employ to build a productive team, repair a broken team, or improve upon your existing team? The word leader implies you are in charge of a group of people focused on a common goal. Once this group of people is assembled, you are officially a team—profits and market share and cash flow are dependent on how well your team works. You can’t separate leadership from teamwork because they go hand in hand.

I get it. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. But now you know, so you better have a teamwork strategy. Even if you don’t buy into our strategy on teamwork, please find one and become an expert on it. It will be very profitable for you to become an expert on teamwork. That’s how CEOs and entrepreneurs make money and build successful companies consistently: they simply build a team based on a proven teamwork model. This is also how some talented business leaders fail. I am sure you have a great product, but you still need to know how to build a team to get it to market, provide service, and continue to innovate. I know you are very smart and have a great business idea, but you still need a team to make it happen. If success is truly a team sport, you must learn everything there is to know about teamwork. Most successful business leaders either don’t know how to articulate what they know to others or refuse to share their secret with us because they would lose their value.

How does a successful coach like Phil Jackson, who has won eleven championships, always seem to get it right? The players changed, but he kept the model the same. Being a great leader in business and sports requires you to become a teamwork guru. Great leaders can always find the right mix of talent, abilities, and personalities and combine them perfectly into a cohesive and productive unit. We have created a teamwork model that will empower you to know what all the successful leaders know and failed to tell you. How much would it be worth to you if you had a successful teamwork formula for your leadership career? It is like the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken or the special sauce on a Big Mac.

Phil Jackson is known as a Zen master as a coach, but it’s not mystic—he had a formula that worked. Successful sports and business leaders can write their own checks and instantly turn their organizations into winners, and so can you.

Ever heard of Nick Saban? He wins big because he knows how to build teams. The same can be said for Lee Iacocca (GM), Patrick Doyle (Dominos), Richard Anderson (Delta), or any successful leader in business. In essence, that’s what leadership is: leading a group of people to achieve a common goal. You can’t separate leadership from teamwork. Here is our sneak preview of our team strategy.

Every team has the right balance of innovators, implementers, instigators, improvers, and a group of people that simply say “Iexecute.

We are off to a great start. There’s more to come. Stay tuned!