The ABCs of a Team

The apartment industry is a profession that is chock full of surprises, especially when it comes to the day-to-day management of the community and staff.

Perhaps what is most surprising is when we think we have put together the Dream Team—a group who will allow the vision of the owners to come to pass. As we seek to maximize our time, increase productivity, and serve our residents, we cannot forget to put quality time into hiring and retaining the personnel who have the goal of the firm at the forefront, and balance this with maintaining and enhancing the value of the owner’s asset, as employees.

What is critical to any team is the cohesion that develops as a result of having a high-impact team or a combination of high collaboration and interaction that forces the team to accomplish its daily, weekly, and monthly goals. They must then excel at reaching their goals, and have the ability and wisdom to come back and do it again, and again.

In graduate school, I learned the benefits of team dynamics by reading the book “Team Dynamics” by Debra J. Housel. The writer explores four areas—forming, storming, norming, and performing—and how almost any team ever created has become one through these stages. The performing stage is the peak performance of a team. As a result, all of these stages are necessary in order for the team to have the collaboration and dynamic needed to see the results it wants and accomplish more.

Recently, the onsite team of Willow Ridge created its “ABCs of a Team” and decided these components are what a team needs in order to be a high-impact team:

A- Accountability/awareness;
B- Building blocks (one block builds upon another);
C- Character (it defines your work and commitment;
D- Dependability (making sure you are doing your job);
E- Effort (to do better);
F- Failure (the mistake/decision is not final, you learn from your mistakes);
G- Game plan (you must have a roadmap);
H- Hospitality (it’s what should be required in the industry);
I- Integrity (goes a long way with character);
J- Joy (if you are not passionate about it, why are you here?)
K- Kindness (it matters);
L- Loyalty;
M- Mistakes (minimize defects, especially if you have not learned from them);
N- Negligence Awareness (be mindful of the choices you are making, minimize risk);
O- Optimism (it’s better to believe you can get the desired occupancy/reach the goal than not. You must believe in your ability);
P- Proactive (be ahead/think ahead. Don’t wait…anticipate);
Q- Quest (be determined to be No. 1);
R- Responsibility (yields results);
S- Sustainability (it’s the fundamentals that got you here);
T- Time Management;
U- Understanding (be realistic and know your abilities and capabilities);
V- Visibility (focus on what your apartment product is, but from a positive perspective);
W- Work & will (do you have the will to work?);
X- Xtra mile;
Y- Yes (say yes, because you have been chosen at this time and for this season);
Z- Zeal (believe and show you are up for the task).

While each team’s ABCs will be different, this is a foundation as to how each team views itself. Each member was excited to discuss the ABCs of our team and this team-building exercise served as motivation to reach our next goal.