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Teamwork in Chaos

Teamwork in Chaos

By Greg Kozera–

This week I represented Shale Crescent USA as a guest on Perri Small’s Morning Show on WVON, Chicago. They are heard throughout Chicagoland and nationally on iHeart radio. Based on what I knew about the station from the internet and listening before I was on the air, we probably had different political views. We still had a great interview. Our topic was, Has the pandemic proved “Made in the USA” is a must for our economy? Perri wanted to know why and how can they bring jobs to their area. Just like here, they have vacant buildings and land from the manufacturing jobs that left the USA years ago.

Shale Crescent USA and Perri both understand for a community to thrive it needs high wage jobs. Our young people need post- high school training but they need to know there are jobs to train for. They need hope. Perri believes good jobs can help to solve Chicago’s crime and gun violence problems. We at Shale Crescent USA believe that high wage permanent jobs can give people hope and help us to solve our opioid problem. We had a caller who echoed our thoughts. He complained most of the jobs in the area were low-wage big box store jobs. Jerry James, one of the Shale Crescent founders, said his father always told him, “The best way to help a man (and now a woman too) is to give them a good job.”

How many other problems could we solve in our country if many of the products we buy from other countries (mostly China) were made here again by American workers? They would pay taxes and spend money here creating more jobs at many locally owned businesses. Career type jobs give people a sense of worth and direction. My students at Pierpont Technical College knew if they graduated drug free, there was a $60,000+ job waiting for them. When I asked them what they were going to do with that money, they all had the same 3 goals; 1) Buy a pickup truck 2) Buy a house 3) Buy WVU season football tickets. All of these dreams have a positive impact on the local economy. I have crossed paths with several of my graduates. They all had their pickup truck. One already had bought his house.

I have had the unique opportunity through my work at Shale Crescent USA to talk to people all over the country. Everyone wants to see manufacturing jobs come back to the USA. I am convinced we are more alike than different. There is more that unites us than we realize. It seems today many groups are focused on our differences and tearing us apart. Many of our politicians, the major media and even some people in leadership positions focus on what divides us, getting people angry or upset. I never watch the network news before bedtime.

It is time for people to come together. I have played on or put together teams since I was 9 years old. I have been part of or lead successful business and athletic teams. The high school teams I have helped coach for 23 years have won 15 Regional and 5 State Championships. This isn’t about me. The point is, there are reasons why teams succeed or fail. It goes much deeper than talent. Most of the time we were not the team with the greatest raw talent. We had to be the best team. In business, we don’t always have the best people to start with but if we can see people as they can be, we can develop their skills. They must be willing to be team players.

As a country and as communities we need to focus on our commonalities and our strengths instead of what divides us. Shale Crescent USA thinks Regionally. The Region has more strengths than individual states or communities. If we can work together to bring jobs to the Region, individual states or communities will also see success. If we don’t work together the Region loses and no one sees any jobs. How can we get people to work together as a team, especially now in this chaos?

Here are what I believe are the 3 most important keys to a successful team, whether we are talking about a family, a business team or an athletic team.

  • A common goal or vision everyone buys into. This is the single most important element of a successful team! We have had players willing move to a position they didn’t want to play for the success of the team. People will do things for the team they won’t do for their boss because they believe in the goal.
  • Diversity is essential. I never want to have a team with everyone like me. A team needs people who have strengths where we are weak. Teams need different skill sets and ways of thinking. I do a team building exercise and noticed teams made up of all engineers were horrible! Diverse teams with 1 or 2 engineers usually did very well.
  • Leadership is what ties everything together. The leader casts the vision and keeps the team focused on the dream. A good leader is able to influence instead of command. Leaders know how to develop people.

People want good jobs. The USA has abundant economical energy, advanced manufacturing, skilled labor, abundant water and a huge market to sell into. This is the time to put differences aside and focus on the goal of bringing high wage jobs to the USA and to our Region. Shale Crescent USA is the only place on earth we know of where a company can build on top of their energy and feedstock, and in the middle of their customers. Companies are coming.

We can get through this chaos by putting differences aside and working together on our common goals. We can be a Team. When the Team wins, we all win.

© 2020 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.