Teamwork

By Collins, Brian | Journal of Environmental Health, March 2013 | Go to article overview

Teamwork


Collins, Brian, Journal of Environmental Health


My last president's message focused on leadership and certain attributes I believe contribute to developing and maintaining leadership skills. This column I dedicate to the NEHA team because leaders need others to get things done! "Others" are the team!

Most people cannot achieve what they want or need to do by themselves. Leaders need teams to get things done. Strong leaders recruit their team and I have observed that well-composed teams are comprised of those with similar attributes, attitudes, and drive. High-efficiency team members are generally high achievers who are motivated and motivate (competitively) each other. Leader responsibility is to set direction and empower the team. Team responsibility is to learn the task (business) and know what priorities exist. It is important too, for team members to know how their work strategically fits into the bigger picture. In addition, the team needs to know where the end zone is!

Once the team is established, it is crucial to sustain the team. The vision or big picture should remain although teams should be flexible enough to change tack readily. Team members should have specific skills they contribute and it is beneficial to have members who have skills independent of one another so they become codependent (they can learn from each other) and yet maintain quality of individual contribution and involvement. Similarities in morale, energy, and focus are helpful to maintaining teams. Rewards for the team should match stature of the task. Victories should be celebrated along the way individually and with the group. Participation on the team should be considered a privilege, not a chore. A public thank you is essential and trust and commitment among the team and leaders are critical!

I have learned over the years that very specific things can quickly and easily tear a team down. Focusing on process rather than outcomes and focusing on the negatives are destructive. It is important to keep the prize in mind and to stay constructive. Teams also fall apart if they they are not supported or if there is little buy-in from leaders or managers. Credibility is important as are rewards ... and rewards do not always have to be monetary!

It has taken me a while to get to the point of this column: the NEHA organization over the years has been developed and honed into a sophisticated, high-efficiency and high-performing team. As a member of this professional association and certainly as the sitting president, I can attest that the professionals listed and the leadership that enables them are "best of breed." I choose to affiliate with this team as a board member. Most of you choose to illustrate your support through continued membership. But next time you have a chance, drop a note or make call--remember, a thank you goes a long way! This NEHA team is a great one! Mi

Brian Collins, MS, REHS, DAAS

brianc@plano.gov

TABLE 1 The NEHA Team

Name                   Position

Rance Baker            Program Administrator

Trisha Bramwell        Customer & Member Services
                       Specialist

Laura Brister          Customer & Member Services
                       Specialist/AEC Registration
                       Coordinator

Ginny Coyle            Project Coordinator, Research
                       & Development (R&D)

Jill Cruickshank       Marketing and Communications
                       Manager

Vanessa DeArman        Project Coordinator, R&D

Cindy Dimmitt          Receptionist/Customer &
                       Member Services Specialist

Elizabeth Donoghue-    Copy Editor
  Armstrong

Misty Duran            Continuing Education (CE)
                       Specialist

Chris Fabian           Senior Manager

Nelson Fabian          Executive Director and CEO

Eric Fife              Learning Content Producer

Soni Fink              Strategic Sales Coordinator

Christine Hollenbeck   Independent Contractor

Genny Homyack          Center Analyst

Sandie Hubbard         Credentialing Specialist

Jon Johnson            Senior Manager

Dawn Jordan            Customer Service Manager/
                       Office Coordinator/HR and
                       IT Liaison

Elizabeth Landeen      Assistant Manager, R&D

Larry Marcum           Managing Director, R&D and
                       Government Affairs

Marissa Mills          Project Assistant, R&D

Carol Newlin           Credentialing Specialist

Terry Osner            Administrative Coordinator

Barry Porter           Financial Coordinator

Kristen Ruby           Content Editor, JEH

Jill Schnipke          Education Coordinator

Douglas Skinner        Internet Marketing Coordinator

Christi Tate           Water Resources Project
                       Coordinator, R&D
Brenda Voloshin        EZ Sales & Training Support

Shelly Wallingford     Credentialing Coordinator

Name                   Position Description

Rance Baker            Oversees Entrepreneurial Zone (EZ)
                       which includes credential study and
                       food safety material, online learning,
                       HACCP materials and support, and a
                       variety of revenue programs. 

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