Preview Thursday: The Business Sergeant by Chris Hallberg

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of The Business Sergeant’s Field Manual: Military Grade Business Execution Without the Yelling and Push-ups

Lesson 17: Make Sure Your Vision is Shared

If we all have a shared vision that we’re moving towards together, a healthy leadership team will be able to call each other out without anyone taking it personally. Everybody has an off day, and a healthy team means you can call people out on things that aren’t right and then face them together as a team, helping each other improve in positive ways. I have a saying for this: “WE over ME is more important.” Said another way, the name on the front of the jersey is much more important than the name on the back.

During my basic training, I was in a barracks with several dozen young men from every socio-economic status and geographic location in the U.S. I figured out pretty quickly that it didn’t matter what culture or religion or neighborhood we came from; we were all in the Army together. The military put us into adverse situations with our backs against the wall. We had to rely indiscriminately on whoever was to the left or right of us. We had to put our personal beliefs aside to embrace those of the group. That’s an extremely effective part of the military’s strategy, and, admittedly, it’s a little tougher to apply to a business backdrop. But in my experience, it’s essential in forging a team that works successfully together.

What we had in the military was a shared vision. If you have an inspiring vision and no one knows about it, then you really don’t have a shared vision (which basically equals no vision). It’s really that simple. So you need to communicate clearly to your employees: “This is what I believe in, this is what this company’s about, this is who we’re going to service, this is how we’re going to do it, and this is what it’s going to look like, smell like, feel like, and sound like.”

Your employees should be as fired up about your passion and vision as you are. That’s the level of commitment you need. Of course, you want a lot of diversity of ideas and talent on your team, but this is an area where you need common ground.

Your vision is your company’s fuel—it’s what fires your momentum and your success. When people don’t share your vision, their personal needs will outweigh the needs of the team every time. In a combat situation, that’s deadly, but it can be nearly as dangerous in business battles. Lack of passion leads to lack of commitment, accountability, and ultimately, your business results, a cancer that will eat your company alive if you let it. If your doctor told you he found cancer in your body, he and you would naturally would take steps to address it immediately. Why wouldn’t you on your team?

Everyone on your team should be marching together in the same direction, all in step with each other. It’s not hard to keep a group together like that if that’s how they’re wired. The real effort is in the sorting process, finding the people who have that internal fire. Once you have them, you can shape and mold them. They will bring a naturally reoccurring energy to the table.

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Chris Hallberg, “The Business Sergeant,” is a seasoned business consultant, turnaround expert, United States Army veteran, and author of The Business Sergeant’s Field Manual. Ranked #9 on Inc.’s “Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts,” Hallberg possesses over 25 years of professional excellence—with his career first beginning in the military.

At the age of seventeen, he joined the Army National Guard and became a sergeant within four years, leading soldiers in both dynamic and challenging environments. After serving in uniform, he began his business career in sales and marketing and quickly rose through the ranks from sales manager to vice president.

In 2009, he founded an energy efficient remodeling business whose revenue scaled to $2M within the first year. Hallberg then sold the company after two years of profitable operations with over 20% net profit to the bottom line. In 2014, he founded Traction Inc., a business advisory company, to focus full-time as one of 65 Certified EOS® Implementers nationally. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two sons. For more information, visit www.bizsgt.com.