Wouldn’t you love to learn how to raise the competitive spirit of your team?
Last week we did just that, with a select group of landscape and irrigation business owners at my Driven To Win event, held at BMW’s high-performance racetrack in S.C.
It was unique and exhilarating; not your typical landscape conference!
Here are 6 lessons from the event that you, as a landscape contractor, can apply right away:
1. The Excitement of Competing Against One’s Peers
Even though no money was at stake, we all wanted to win the various mini-competitions that BMW set up for us.
One of the attendees, Ken Hutten, shared that he is reserved and not normally competitive, but he stepped up and won one of the contests. He enjoyed the competition and camaraderie, and pondered how he could bring that same degree of excitement back to his operations.
So how do you create fun competition in your company to crank up your people’s focus and results?
2. The Power of Metrics
We could see our scores (and the scores of our peers) each time we raced through a ‘time trial,’ and so we immediately had a new goal to beat, whether it was ours or our peers.
This immediate feedback was a wonderful mechanism for improvement.
So, how do you give meaningful daily and weekly feedback? Does it instill a competitive spirit?
3. Camaraderie Made Us All Excel
We enjoyed getting to know one another personally over a meal the night before the event. (We had a private chef in an exclusive loft.)
This increased our enjoyment and our willingness to get “naked”, i.e., be more open and honest with each other when we convened the final day to debrief and apply our experiences.
Do you have that same level of open trust on your team?
4. Getting Feedback Was Crucial
We had three to four professional racecar drivers who were coaching us throughout the day.
Some of us got too much feedback and it became distracting, and at other times we received “the perfect tip” to greatly increase speed around a corner.
There were also times we were left wanting more feedback. (I wanted to beat one of the others and needed crucial feedback, but the coach wasn’t paying attention and couldn’t help me.)
Your business lesson – how, and how often, you give feedback is crucial – every employee wants it differently. Some want it more direct and more often than you think. Ask your people; make learning fun.
5. Daily Brief/Debrief
It helped us as a group to debrief how we did after it was all over, and then apply the lessons back to our business. We all had skin in the game (pride, business and personal goals).
When your people have skin in the game, and when they have their own personal goals, they will gain even more value from the debriefs you hold at work — whether daily or weekly.
6. We Shared Our Failures
By the end of the day we were tired, and yet we had one more competition – the final time trial.
I was pumped…but then I spun my $110,000 M5 off the track into the dirt. (No damage luckily.) I wanted to win, but my stamina could not keep up. I was seeing the “red mist”, i.e., where one’s ambition clouds one’s judgment. Not good. ;-(
I was not alone. And so we took time to discuss our failures––on the track and in business. We kept it real and learned from each other.
The best learning organizations have developed this same trust and a method for sharing problems and how to overcome them. Do you have this same camaraderie and support at your company?
Your Challenge: Make work fun, make competing fun, and use feedback and metrics to help your people improve. Don’t be afraid to share failures. And, just as important, take time away from the day-to-day to recharge and take advantage of out-of-the-box learning.
See photos below, and stay tuned for my next unique event to help you truly excel at work.
BMW performance track in S.C.
Ready to rumble!
Excited to get started!
We left it all out on the track.
Top 3 drivers of the day!