Tenacious Teams - 4 Steps to Working In Excellence

You may be wondering why there are leadership type posts on a blog or website with Fair Trade products. It’s because these are the concepts we are teaching our ladies to help them be successful entrepreneurs. Running a successful business enterprise is more than selling products and we are helping them learn how to be part of a team, how to work together and build trust and community.

I work a “day job” in order to keep the business expenses paid and the business going. COVID has reduced sales but not the expenses. I started the job just before COVID and have been able to keep the business afloat by paying the expenses that the business doesn’t cover out of my salary. Soon I am going to be promoted to a manager position where I will be leading a team again. I led many teams during my military service and have experience with leading successful high performing teams.

I thought about what it means to be an integral part of a high performing team. I have taken over various teams that were not working well and was able to turn them into highly functional high performing teams.

That doesn’t mean I have not had failures as a leader. I have had many of those as well, some of them my own fault for letting poor performance go continually unchecked.

This happened when I was stationed in the UK and was close friends with one of the team members as a worker and then became the manager. I would mention the poor performance to her but she kept repeating it. Note: In Government jobs, you cannot simply fire someone without extensive documentation.

When it was time to give her a performance rating I asked her what she thought she deserved. She told me a higher rating than I was giving her. I told her I wished I could but I could not and listed the lack of performance. She agreed that her performance was lacking.

After that meeting and performance report, her performance turned around and she became the outstanding team member I knew she could be. To let poor performance continue even after you’ve brought it to the attention of the worker on several occasions not only affects the rest of the team but also the performance of the organization.

Here are some things you should consider as a team member to make sure you are measuring up by doing your part for the team.


What kind of work product do you put out? Your work will leave an impression with whoever see’s it. Do you put out something that will bring honor and admiration for your team or will you work bring embarrassment to the team because it’s late, full of errors or unprofessional?

There seems to be many people who are doing as little as possible to get by and expect to be appreciated or rewarded for it. I went to an athletic shoe store to purchase some athletic shoes a few years ago and walked into the store. A sales person walked right by me and didn’t say a word or even acknowledge my presence. She put a shoe back on the display and walked by me again not looking at me or acknowledging me. I had to get her attention to get some help and then she was less than happy to help me. It was as though she didn’t want to be bothered to do her job but still expected to be paid for being there.

After working to pull the info out of her, she got me a couple shoes to try on then left and never checked back. I had to get someone else to help me. I had to ask the second person that I think was the manager about features of the shoes for what I needed them for. I complained to the company and got a basic “we’ll take care of it” response. They didn’t seem to care that I was not treated well in their store, nor did they get back to me about the outcome or offer any type of consideration to come back to their store. I will avoid that store for future purchases based on my experience. How do they expect to stay in business if that’s how they treat their customers?


We see many people in the public who are caught doing something wrong. They almost always say they didn’t do something or something didn’t happen when it actually did. I don’t understand why people won’t take responsibility for those things when they first come out. Instead they deflect or lie and say it didn’t happen. Even if they said I’m not making a statement right now would be better than denying it happened. The truth always comes out in the end.


In this day and age of fast paced work environments, everyone needs to work at some level of independence. Some need a little more hands on, especially when first starting in the workforce or in a new job. As a new employee or new to the workforce, you need time to acclimate and understand how things operate in the company you are working for.

The number one cause of dysfunction in a team is lack of trust. Once that’s broken it’s hard to get it back and the problems usually spiral down from there.

For even the most seasoned professional, sometimes things slip off the plate. Maybe it got lost in the inbox or you didn’t have it on your list or even thought you did it. That should be should be the exception, rather than the rule. Being trustworthy that you will get the work done takes the stress off of a manager. 

If you can’t be trusted to get your work done, you should develop a system that will make it easier for you to stay on task. I use a “6 most important things to do list” to keep on task. Sometimes it’s more than 6 things but lists work for me. Find out what works for you so you will earn the trust of your manager.


Many times people have a problem saying no. I’ve been guilty of that in the past. I’ve agreed to things thinking I’m being helpful, but then quickly realize I am unable to do everything I committed to or not be able to do it in excellence.

Sometimes you have to say no or admit you don’t have the bandwidth or resources to complete the task, be on the committee or take on the extra project. It’s more important to do things in excellence then to do things half stepping, which goes back to number 1 above. In the end, doing things less than excellent will reflect badly on you and the organization. Just say no.

These are a few examples of things you as an employee need to do to make sure your doing your part for the team. When part of the team is broken, the entire team won’t function properly and the organization itself will have problems moving ahead and may stay stuck going in circles and never succeeding or having continuous problems to overcome.

Do your part of working in excellence in all you do to make sure the team functions as a high performing team and the organization is a success.


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