Management Book Spotlight: You Win in the Locker Room First – Jon Gordon and Mike Smith

Spectrum’s mission as a leading provider of professional services in NJ is to be a valuable asset in helping leaders achieve organizational success by finding top performers for their available positions. But as most managers have experienced, even the most seemingly enthusiastic and talented employees can have their motivation fizzle over time.

To combat a decline in engagement, cultivating a collaborative environment is crucial. In You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life, former NFL coach Mike Smith and leadership consultant Jon Gordon discuss what it takes to reinvigorate your company culture into a cohesive unit that produces results: 


The first (and most important) C that Smith and Gordon discuss for building a successful team is culture. Culture is based on a shared set of values. Once you clearly define your workplace’s core values, everyone on the team will be able to use those to guide their behaviors and habits, and keep everyone on the same page. Culture impacts everything in your organization, so look to culture problems to fix performance issues. 


Attitudes are contagious, whether in the locker room or the office, according to Smith and Gordon. As a leader, it’s up to you to spread positive attitudes through your own reactions (such as communicating a powerful message that inspires them) and to ban negative attitudes (such as complaining) to prevent them from becoming contagious to the rest of the team and dropping morale. 


If you want to establish a trustworthy relationship with your employees and have their utmost respect in your authority, being consistent is crucial, say Smith and Gordon. Consistency includes: maintaining a steady temperament and not being moody, handling similar situations, in the same manner, each time, treating and interacting with all employees equally, and regularly working on self-improvement and consistent learning. 

Related post: Management Book Spotlight: “No Hard Feelings” by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy


To strengthen the relationships among your team and produce optimal results, effective communication is your best tool, explain Smith and Gordon. Clearly communicate key messages and expectations in a direct and transparent way. Also remember that communication goes both ways: listen to what your employees have to say and truly consider it and take action when necessary so they know you respect their voices. 


In order to foster effective collaboration, the individuals that comprise your staff truly need to feel like a cohesive unit, according to Smith and Gordon. Prioritize opportunities to help your employees connect with one another and build relationships, whether through actively encouraging socializing during work hours (i.e., don’t shut down water cooler conversations or occasional breaks to watch a funny video) or team-building exercises, like volunteering for a community cause together.


Demonstrating to your employees that you are committed to doing what it takes to help them become successful is necessary if you want your team to be fully engaged, say Smith and Gordon. Show your commitment through your actions – be accessible, care more about the team than your own ego, take responsibility for problems, and continually look for solutions to give your employees the tools they need to succeed. 


People want to be valued, and showing your employees that you care about them will make them want to stick with you and aim to excel in their roles, state Smith and Gordon. Make it a priority to express your appreciation for your individual team member’s contributions. Recognize their efforts and say thank you on a regular basis, in real time. This will make them feel cared for and thus, more internally motivated to work hard to benefit the team. 

Find qualified candidates to join your team with the help of Spectrum Staffing. We have been offering professional services in NJ for more than 25 years. Our mission is to truly understand our clients’ needs so we can provide the employment services that are the best fit. Contact Spectrum today to learn more about our staffing and business services.