Team Gear, Your Gear, Yourself
We had a saying in the teams, “Team Gear, Your Gear, Yourself.” What does that mean? To anyone outside of the teams probably not much. I want you to think about team gear, your gear, yourself for a second. If you went out on a trip by yourself or with a bunch of people what do you usually do when you get to the destination? Most likely you will take care of yourself. There is no problem with taking care of yourself. The first thing I would want to do is take care of myself. But what about everyone else? Is there something I could be doing to help the situation? Am I ready for the next phase of the trip better yet is everyone else?
In the SEAL team, we all had to go through BUD/S. While in BUD/S we realize what it means to be a team. We are torn down and then built up together, taught to take care of one another. Creating a family that would go to any length for you. However, in business we are not taught anything close to this, everything is based on individual performance. Training includes college or any online courses. Aside from a few group projects we are never taught what a team is supposed to do for one another.
I am on a Team Right?
I remember during one of my deployments overseas. We were asked to travel a fairly long distance to look for anything suspicious. It was a 7-day mission that took us through some of the most unforgiving territories and took us far away from our base. Some nights we would be rocketed all night and others, you would lie and wait for something to happen. Needless to say, it was stressful.
On day 2 of the mission, our truck broke down beyond repair. We had to call in a recovery effort to get the truck in the middle of nowhere. It was the middle of the night when the trucks were finally recovered. Raising the excitement level to an 11+, I was told I had to stay with the remaining truck. While my other 3 teammates left with the broken truck. I understood someone had to drive the remaining truck back, and we couldn’t leave the broken trucks unattended.
Why not I was trained for this, no problem too small or big. I was left with a bunch of locals not wasting time I hopped in the remaining truck and moved out. The local task force was about 50 guys strong, I was the +1 in the party. I led the group out while keeping air support above. It was a journey I will never forget.
It took me 3 days to get back to base because we still had to accomplish some things along the way. This is where the phrase Team Gear, Your Gear, Yourself comes into play. I was immediately greeted by my team leader and the rest of the team. Happy to see me but also understanding of what needed to happen. My mission was not over until the truck, all the team equipment, and my gear were taken care of.
We all pitched in cleaning, getting fresh batteries, and food. We took care of the team first. Then we took care of my gear. Since I was the only one out at the time, guys pitched in to help me take care of my gear. The team helped me reload my mags, lube my guns, I ensured everything was in the right place and moved things around if necessary. Only after all this was done did I take care of myself.
Sounds great but how do you do this in business? You are most likely part of a team even if it has not been explicitly stated to you. Your team can be your department or the people you interact most with. Instilling team gear, your gear, yourself mentality into your team will help you identify who is and who is not in it for the team’s best interest. What is the approach you should take?
Turns out there are 3 steps to make this happen.
1. Set the Standard
You start with developing a culture with one of its tenets focused on Team Gear, Your Gear, Yourself. Team gear is anything the team is focused on, or needs to accomplish its goal, stay safe, and in some cases survive. You are part of a team. In sports teams are created to achieve a task. In almost every case the ultimate goal of the team is to win a world championship or some kind of an award. The team captains are in charge of ensuring everyone is where they are supposed to be to get things done. They are also in charge of ensuring all equipment required works and the team has everything it needs.
To wrap your mind around this first break down what it is that is absolutely essential to success. If you are a rock climbing guide school. Ensuring harnesses are in good condition, rope logs have been updated, the rope itself has been inspected, and any interactions or questions from customers have been resolved. How about a Real Estate Investment company? All phones are in working order, all software and CRM has been utilized, updated, and is functional. Potential investment contacts have been identified and assigned. Research on investments has been verified and is being shaped into something useful.
In both scenarios, we are ensuring the team will be successful and in the rock climbing example safe from physical harm. However, in either case, you are helping to ensure the team’s safety, success and comradery are being built by working together.
2. What About My Stuff?
Now that you have successfully broken everything out into team gear we have to transition to your gear. Your gear is just as important as the team’s gear. Think about it. You are super helpful with your team’s gear, but your team cannot be successful without you pulling your own weight.
You have to ensure you are ready to propel the team forward. Going back to the previous examples. If you are the head lead climber in the rock climbing company. You should probably make sure your gear is situated correctly for you. Take the time to set everything up, so you are the most effective you can be. You need to be someone your other team members look to for advice without talking to you. In some cases, you need to be prepared for the unforeseen, you have the most experience so why wouldn’t you be ready.
For real estate investing, prep your scripts for cold calls, ensure your note sheets make sense and flow through the script with you. Ensure your CRM is functional and that you know everything about it. If you are the sales lead, make sure you have a handle on the technology to understand pitfalls that come up. Source out any training that could be effective for your team. Be proactive, not reactive.
Always be prepared and do not put it off until the next day. Just get it done. It is easy to get things done when people are around you. Your gear is a true test of how committed you are to the rest of your team and their goals. If you don’t care to be prepared, then you most likely do not care for your team either. This is about thinking beyond yourself.
3. Can We Talk About Me
And then there was one. You. At this point, you can take care of yourself. You have helped the team with its gear. Worked on your individual gear, and now it’s time to clean yourself up. Even after being in the field for a week away from home, this was still the last thing on my list. Think about it you have to be ready to go at any moment. What is going to keep you afloat and on track? Your team gear, and your gear.
Yourself goes beyond you just getting cleaned up. It is you taking the time to improve yourself as well. Debriefing yourself, thinking through how you could have improved something. If you are not sure how to improve you now have an opportunity to ask. Find out what you need to learn, and then go and gain that knowledge.
In the rock climbing example. You want to be the head, lead climber or be on the ice climbing trips but you lack the experience or technique to guide. You now know what kind of knowledge you need to seek out. Go and talk with the team leaders and create a plan to accomplish the task.
As for the Real Estate investing example. You most likely work on commission. What does that mean? You can make as much money as you are willing to work for. Wouldn’t it make sense to seek out training on how to be more efficient, more effective? You could even watch and listen to skilled people to see how they do things.
In either case, you are the master of your own domain. Yourself is for you to improve, you are helping the team be prepared. Now, it is time for you to better yourself so the team can be even more prepared.
These concepts can be utilized in any organization. You just have to be willing to do the work to make it all happen. If you are a team leader, sit down and break the process down. Everyone needs to understand what team gear is, what is individual gear (your gear), and what it means to work on yourself. Even if you are not a team leader but your team does not function like this, take the initiative to start this thought process.
Team Gear, Your Gear, Yourself are easily achieved if you are willing to act as an actual team. Take care of the team, and the team will take care of you.
I want you to start right now, no more hesitation. Go to step one and break it all down, then implement the culture immediately. Progress through the steps and watch your team grow.