Happy August! It’s a busy season over here with team Swift Kick. Some people take vacations, some renovate their homes, and others decide to speak at different organizations for weeks on end around the country… *cough* Tom Krieglstein *cough*.
You might think that a company that travels throughout the country, including overseas at times, would have a team of ten or twenty people supporting it. But you would be wrong. Here at Swift Kick, we have Tom the Fearless Leader, Sami (me!) the Community Manager, and Jay the Logistics Manager. With such a small team, I have been asked by multiple people within our community, my cohort, and my family on how we do it. How do three people run a successful business?
The answer is simple: Teamwork, communication, and a lot of patience.
I have been on several teams before, but never one as close-knit as this. It is amazing how three people can run a company, but what is more amazing is how a community as close as Swift Kick’s can stay connected throughout all seasons! Thankfully, through hard work and dedication, we are able to keep our community feeling welcomed, connected, and engaged through communication and patience.
If you feel a loss of connection or communication within your team or community, follow these simple steps below to reconnect with one another.
Step 1: Learn how to Prioritize
- Prioritizing your schedule and tasks is key. Layout all your tasks for the week in front of you and make a list of what is most important to what is something you could push off for a few days.
- How do you know how to do this?
- I have created a mini list of what my tasks look like. Of course, some are more self-explanatory than others, however, it is a nice guide for anyone to use as a guide!
- The main goal is to stay organized and follow your list. Once you create it for the week stick to it. Below you will see each day layed out. On the bottom right you will see added projects for the week. I like to do my daily projects in the morning so I know they are done and my added projects in the afternoon.
- Make yourself a Top Rock for every day. Each day pick a project that you want to complete.
- Hold yourself accountable for getting your weekly tasks done. If you do not, talk with your team, maybe you are overloaded and need to take a few items off your list.
Step 2: Use A Text-Based Communication App
- Google chat is the main communication source within our direct team. It helps us communicate with one another quickly without having to wait for an email response. Because we are such a small team, having this option is fantastic, especially when our fearless leader is traveling the country.
- Another great source of communication is Slack. Within one of the communities we oversee, we use Slack to help keep the communication going and help make that community feel welcomed and engaged.
Step 3: Patience
- Recognize that schedules get busy. Therefore, not everyone can answer right away. In the beginning, this was a bit difficult for me. I was used to being answered immediately with any questions I had previously. With such a small team, I learned that everyone is working their hardest; sometimes I was not the top priority. However, from this experience, I have learned a lot of patience by thinking ahead and seeing if I could do things by myself.
- Do the best you can on your own and once you are absolutely stuck, let your team have a chance to get back to you, don’t expect an answer immediately.
- When it comes to teamwork, being understanding can go a long way. It is important to learn about your team/community and how they work. Understand that they go through personal and professional obstacles just like you. As a team member/leader, it is always valued when you are able to take a step back, listen, observe, then take action on how you can help.
Step 4: Utilize your whole team
- Rely on others and not just the fearless leader. In the beginning of my time here at Swift Kick, I went directly to Tom every time. Sometimes when I asked him a question, he would answer with another question – Did you ask Jay? LIGHTBULB. Jay is an amazing team member and knows a lot of things about Swift Kick. Now, I usually try to ask Jay my questions before I direct them right to Tom. Especially during the busy season when he is traveling around the country.
Step 5: Learn your “seasons”
- This one is big for me as I am newer to the team and am learning our ‘seasons.’ My best tip here is busy season = less projects. Once July/August/September comes around, I have learned to dedicate my time towards our community/clients/team more than anything. All side projects can be put on hold for now. It is important to focus on the main picture: how can we make our community feel included and happy during the busiest time of the year? The answer: focus on them! Let them know that you are here for them and answer all questions as soon as you can. When working with our clients, I find it to be more relaxing for them when I am able to answer as soon as possible. I understand that they have busy schedules as well and need to get some information locked in as soon as possible.