February 3, 2015

Why Winners Win

By Paul Bieber

This column came to mind after watching the Super Bowl. Duh! Of course there is a winner and a loser, but why is one team the better one?

Luck does play a part in it. The pass in the fourth quarter that the Seattle receiver juggled four times while he was down on the ground falls into that category. But luck works for both teams. Still the same question: Why is one team the winner? The answer is in the question itself: the word “TEAM.” Football, or my beloved baseball, is a team sport.

And so is running your glass business. You may be the quarterback just like Brady, but he didn’t win this game by himself. His team won the game. The Lombardi Trophy will be engraved with the team name. Sure, Brady earned the MVP, deservedly so, but he would not have  won that trophy if his team did not win the game.

In listening to the various commentators there was a recurring theme, the Patriots are the hardest-working team in football. Stories about players coming in at 5: a.m. to review tapes and get extra hours in the weight room have been told often. Brady was always there early studying defenses. He took every training session seriously. He ran every practice drill like it was the final play of the Super Bowl. He worked hard and that motivated others to work hard.

This started with the coach, Bill Belichek–a real no-nonsense guy, never smiling, but always teaching, motivating and encouraging. Are you Brady or Belichek? In a small company, you probably are both. But in a larger company, maybe more than 15 employees, you need both a Brady and a Belichek.

Being the leader of a glass company is the same as managing a sports team. You want your players to perform in certain ways and you practice until they know the right way.   If your team does not perform these ways well enough, you lose money on a job, you don’t get new work, and you end up losing your shirt.

So its leadership that creates winners. Not one bright shooting-star. You have to motivate your team. Do this by working with your foremen, teaching them about new products and techniques. Teach them basic business and how to handle relationships. Teach them how to train a new employee and most importantly, how to review an employee’s work output and either retrain or give them job counseling where needed.

Your glass company doesn’t have be the Super Bowl champ; you can be very profitable winning one game at a time. You don’t have to be the biggest glass company in town to be the one with the best customer service and having the crews that leave a job site cleaner than they found it.

When you hire a new person do the research on his background and be sure that he will fit your company style. Build your team one player at a time and they will function as team under your guidance. This will make you a winner.