By Cheryl Higley
SIMA welcomed author and humorist Joel Zeff for its keynote event during the 18th Annual Snow & Ice Symposium in Schaumburg, IL.
With the help of some good-natured and daring audience members, Zeff used situational improvisational comedy to reinforce important components for owners and managers to get the most out of their team. Following are some of his “Ta-Da!” moments:
- The business world is constantly changing and may push you out of your comfort zone, but if you create an environment in which all members of the team support each other, that change – and the risk that goes with it – won’t be so bad.
- Provide the opportunity for your team members to take ownership of their work and to be accountable. “Give them opportunities, build a foundation for them to make choices and provide positive support and you’ll be amazed at what they can accomplish,” Zeff says.
- While “there’s no expiration date on a thank you,” Zeff says leaders must reach out and find out what their team wants and needs – and it likely won’t be money. “That happiness only lasts to the next paycheck,” he says. “How do I help the people around me be more successful? When you stop thinking ‘what can they do for me’ and create a culture where you share the same goals and give them opportunities to move those goals forward, you get energized, passionate team members.”
- We spend the least amount of time being present, focusing and being in the moment – yet that’s when we’re at our best, Zeff says. “We’re always looking back or looking forward. We need to communicate and connect with our employees and our customers to know what they need to be successful. When it comes to your customers, if you don’t, someone else will.”
- Never quit. If you stay in the game, you’ll find a way to be successful. Learn from your mistakes and keep going, he says. “Be open and flexible to new ideas. Prepare for change. Most change is out of our control. What you can control is how you react to it.”
Learn more about Zeff at www.joelzeff.com. Special thanks to Zeff for donating the proceeds from book sales at the show to the Alan Steiman Scholarship Fund, which benefits first-time Symposium attendees.