President's Message: The Power of People

Posted by Kenyon Gleason on 3/15/19 12:00 PM

KenyonGleason-5Great leaders hire great people. And great people play a crucial role in your strategic success. If you want to be successful in today’s shooting sports industry, invest in and harness the power of people.

Look, we are facing unprecedented change, unending political volatility, and constantly moving targets when it comes to local, state and federal firearm laws. Some prominent and recent legal decisions also have us scratching our heads. To say it’s unpredictable and challenging for a company to navigate is an overwhelming understatement.

When it comes to winning in business, nothing is more important than your team. PERIOD. A strong team can make you look like a genius. A weak team can take down the smartest and savviest leader.

In 2012, Google began a study called Project Aristotle. The study involved over 180 internal teams and spanned well over a year trying to find out what mix of personalities make the best or most productive teams. The initial belief was a mix of personality types and backgrounds would be the defining measure for a “good team” to develop.

That proved not to be true. Actually, in the most productive teams at Google, defining factors were that members listened to one another and were sensitive to others’ feelings and needs. It had less to do with “who” was on the team than how members interacted with one another and the strength of their trust relationships. 

In effect, the research initiative wasn’t groundbreaking at all. Frankly, it simply proved what many good leaders have always known… strong team relationships allow a team to adapt, pivot, change, upgrade, or improve. An average idea with a great team is a prescription for success. A great idea with a bad team is a recipe for disaster. 

Of course, it’s a nice bonus to have fancy techniques and efficient processes. It’s clearly important to have new-age technology. And who doesn’t want to sell the best product possible? Those are all great business investments. But when you strip it all away, it’s about your people. Business success derives directly from the strength of your team.

So who should you have on your team? As noted above, the best team members are good communicators and great listeners. They should have the ability to collaborate and work well with a variety of personality types. Adaptability, a positive attitude and the ability to “shed their ego” are also traits needed in a dynamic and changing business environment. When people have strong relationships, when they build a level of trust, they open their minds and creativity pours out.

With the team in place, a leader should validate their work and show appreciation. Then stand back and let them perform. And don’t forget, the janitor deserves just as much respect and consideration as the CEO. When done with conviction and passion, a leader who puts his people first, will inspire new levels of greatness in others and new levels of revenue for the company.

The great author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said it best, “You don’t build a business. You build people and people build a business.”


Until next time,

Kenyon Gleason

NASGW President

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