This is Where I Belong
How to create a unified, unbothered, and unmatched team diverse in thought, experiences, and backgrounds that is relentless about solving customer problems like none other
Business is about belonging.
Your customers have a ton of options available to them when it comes to getting their problem solved. The businesses that earn their attention, adoration, and loyalty are the ones who consistently demonstrate that they “get” them.
To create an experience that makes your customers feel like they belong, you first have to build a team where everyone feels like they belong.
In his book The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth, Chris Brogan explained why this is essential:
“Fitting in” often means shaving off your unique edges, hiding and masking what defines you, discarding any behaviors or appearances or images that prompt others to question you or push away from you. “Belonging” is about finding that place where you finally let out a deep breath you had no idea you were holding and feeling with great certainty that the people around you understand you.
You need a team that is comfortable challenging each other, bringing new perspectives, and celebrating how their differences can make your company better at serving your customers.
You need a high-performing team.
And a high-performing team is a diverse team.
You are limited by your frame of reference. And if everyone on your team looks, thinks, and has had similar experiences as you, collectively you will struggle to address the evolving and nuanced needs of your customers. No bueno.
And if your team feels like they aren’t valued, they have no voice, or feels disconnected from how their talents make an impact on your customers, they will leave in search of the place where they do belong.
To give your business the fuel it needs to succeed, you’ve got to focus not only on getting the right people on your team, but you’ve got to keep them there. That means you’ve got to cultivate an environment that proves your commitment to connecting to who they are, what they are about, the challenges they experience, and what they need most from you.
Your customers are people. Your employees are people. And people connect with people. Make sure you make it a priority to make the people who are most important to your business feel like your business is the place they want to be.
- African-American woman living in Spanish-speaking Argentina
- 5 years as a diversity & inclusion champion and employee resource group leader at Johnson & Johnson
- Managed global launches spanning 13 markets across North America, Europe, and Australia
- Survived 4 corporate restructurings and integrations during 9 years at Johnson & Johnson. Have seen first hand what works in building a thriving culture and what doesn’t
A Few of My Published Articles on the Topic:
- How to make everyone on your team feel like they belong (Inc.)
- Want to build a high-performing team? Science says focus on these 3 things (Inc.)
- The CEO just admitted why he can’t hire a diverse team – you might have the same problem (Inc.)
- The essential Martin Luther King, Jr. leadership lesson all good leaders should master (Inc.)
- Want to build a rockstar team? Seek out people with a side-hustle (Inc.)
- 4 Tips to building high-performing teams (Because traditional methods just don’t work) (Inc.)
- How strong leaders build inclusive cultures: 3 Essential lessons from an Air Force general (Inc.)
- Follow these 5 steps to build a high-performing inclusive team–even if you’ve struggled in the past (Inc.)
- 68 Percent of employees are disengaged, but there is a scientifically proven way to boost engagement (Inc.)
- What makes employees feel happiest at work (It isn’t salary) (Inc.)