Build Better Teams - 5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian

If you are interested in finding out exactly how successful you can be with the team you have, there are a few foundational conditions that have to be met. Create the right environment, and you will achieve milestones. Keep trying to force production in the wrong environment, and you can expect a few sputtering fits and starts until the whole thing just seizes up before the inevitable crash and burn.

Step one in getting the most out of your team is figuring out what matters most to them. Here’s the rub … they may not even know. Many employees are so conditioned to “trying to make the best of it” at work, they never really think about what could be done to truly inspire and motivate them.

Sure, they gripe. To you, to each other, to social media … but complaints are not always what people really care about. Think about politics for a moment. For four years you will read diatribes online about specific issues, then, when the time comes to actually pick someone, their choice is made for entirely separate reasons. Human Nature 101.

But don’t be discouraged, there are some good people who specialize in studies giving employers and managers a good baseline for learning what matters most to your employees. Start there.

People want to belong, to matter, and be important. Humans are tribal, for better or worse. We want to be part of a successful team. We’ll even tolerate being a part of a failing team if there’s some hope for a better future. Belonging is not just about the right color t-shirt or company name tags. Those are just props. Belonging is a feeling, something deep that draws people together and provides identity and strength.

How can you create that sense of belonging? It starts with something clear to cling to. Think about sports team fans. The most popular teams tend to have an “identity” closely aligned with the character and reputation of the town. Fans revel in that connection. Potential fans gravitate toward it. In business, that identity comes from culture and vision. Where you are going, what you are doing, and how you plan to get there each and every day all contribute to your culture and vision.

Don’t be afraid to allow your vision and culture to be obvious. Plant your flag in How We Do Things, and you will attract the right sort of people for your team. You will also encourage those who don’t appreciate the vision and culture to find another they like better.

Definitive cultures need strong leadership. You don’t have to be Conan the Barbarian or Josef Stalin to be considered strong. Principled, wise, and secure work even better. Let people know you understand where you are all going and you appreciate their genuine contribution to getting there.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.

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