OWNERSHIP RULE #5 of 14: “There is No “I” in “Team”

As the African proverb tells us, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 


In the old-school way of doing business world, there’s an unfortunate belief that success is a one-person show, with the boss calling all the shots. But Ownership Rule #5 in The Great Game of Business speaks of a more inclusive way to succeed, “It Takes a Team to Build Equity,” and I stand behind this notion 100% as it reminds us that building equity isn’t a solo mission. It’s a collective effort, a team sport if you will.

In the world of landscaping, we’ve all worked with various people and teams throughout our careers. Some were just groups of individuals, each focused on their own goals. But others, the ones with a shared sense of purpose, were true teams, and every aspect of the experience was remarkably different.

You see, a team isn’t just a bunch of people working side by side; it’s a powerhouse of people with similar goals and mindsets who magically seem to get better results. Well, it turns out that that “magic” isn’t so magic at all!  How’s that, you ask? Simple. When folks unite around a common goal, the skills, knowledge, and experiences they bring come together to create something special. It’s like a symphony, with each member playing their part to produce beautiful music.

Shared ownership, psychic or actual,  is at the heart of this rule. Although profit sharing can be a powerful motivator in itself, it truly is about more than that; it’s also, and as importantly, about sharing the responsibilities and challenges. In a real team, everyone is invested in the company’s success. This creates trust and collaboration, which are the secret ingredients for growing equity.

Open communication is another big part of this rule. When everyone has a stake in the game, they’re more likely to speak up when things get tough and pitch in with solutions. This open dialogue leads to quicker problem-solving and a stronger business. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience this firsthand with both employees and now employee owners alike within the business I founded 29 years ago, Creative Roots Landscaping.

This rule also teaches us to play the long game. Building solid equity doesn’t happen overnight, and it is not a one-time event; it’s a process that improves with experience, time, and dedication. Teams that learn, play, and stick together through thick and thin are more likely to weather business challenges and become stronger and financially secure.

To fully embrace this rule, companies should foster a culture of teamwork, collaboration, and shared ownership. Employees should be encouraged to participate actively in the company’s success and be recognized and rewarded for their contributions to helping build a better business. From a pat on the back and a thank-you to profit gainsharing to the potential of actual ownership in the company, a sense of gratitude, pride, and motivation can fuel the whole team.

In a nutshell, Rule #5 of The Great Game of Business, “It Takes a Team to Build Equity,” challenges the traditional view of business success. It’s a reminder that equity isn’t just about money; it’s about the collective efforts and shared ownership of a team. When businesses embrace this rule, they unlock the potential for greater innovation, resilience, and long-term success. In the game of business, the real winners are those who come together to chase shared goals.

About Me

Through my experiences, I have been fascinated by business and all it offers to improve people’s lives. From working on the shovel, business visioning, and everything in between to sharing my experiences through personalized coaching services, my goal is to help other owners work on their businesses, increase profits, and have more time for themselves while finding enjoyment. 

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