Your Team’s Greatest Limitation Is You

It’s guest post Monday! This post is written by Joel Fortner who specializes in teaching entrepreneurs to be better marketers and blogs at Get Serve Keep. I encourage you to check out his blog and consider his marketing coaching services. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.  If you would like to have a post featured on my site then click here.

Author Joel Manby said in Love Works, “The enthusiasm of the guest experience can never rise any higher than the enthusiasm of your own employees.”

Leaders, he’s talking to you. Specifically, if you help run a business or nonprofit, he’s talking about what I call your Serve mini-business.

Any organization with customers or donors has Get, Serve, and Keep mini-businesses within it. And it’s imperative you align your marketing to each. Why?

Because the mindset of the person you’re trying to persuade to buy or donate is radically different in each.

With regard to your Serve (once you have the customer/donor) business, it begins and ends with leadership. It lives and dies with you.

In Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey said,

“The Bible says the anointing drops from the beard. In Old Testament days, when someone was pronounced king, the Israelites had a tradition of pouring old (lots of it) over that person’s head. The oil symbolized God’s spirit being poured over the leader. And the oil that was poured heavily over the head ran down the hair, the beard, onto the rest of the body, symbolizing that as goes the king, as goes the kingdom.”

And as goes the entrepreneur, director, or pastor, as goes their team, and as goes their customer’s experience.

So when you’re thinking about how to improve your customer service, train your team well, and never forget their success and failure will hinge on you.

Question: How have you worked to be a better leader to your team?

You can get Joel’s free eBook, Small Business Guide to Marketing: Ideas You Must Know & Mistakes You Must Avoid, by subscribing to his marketing blog. Click here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • The leader is the heart and soul of the team. It’s only natural that the team’s character will reflect that. And by extension, the customer experience. It’s a chain that all begins with the leader, so he’d best represent what he wants the customers to experience.


    • This is something I really learned when I worked for a burnt out leader. His attitude was poor and therefore so was mine, which is actually uncharacteristic for me. I vowed to never be that way.

  • It’s true as a leader I really have a responsibility to set the tone for the rest of the team. Honestly sometimes I’m just not very good at this, however, if you have built a good team around you and worked hard to set the tone for them when those difficult times come your team may be there for you too.

    • Great comment. It’s one of those things that you have to constant lean on. You never, if you will, arrive.

  • I like the no nonsense approach. It’s kinda like the “buck stops here” mindset. That is the wisdom that greatness is founded in. Nice job.

    • Yes! I’m a firm believer in owning what you do.

  • Leaders must grow and be open to learning new things. If they don’t, they will be left behind.

    • I totally agree with you. It’s essential we keep growing and learning. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • And so will their team and their business.

  • The leader sets not only the tone, but (hopefully) achieves the task of getting others to stick to that tone! The heart, the soul, the brains. But that should incorporate everybody in my eyes, foster the team and they’ll foster you back, an incredible cycle to see some epic growth I think!

    • I agree! It’s a beautiful thing and you must be intentional about it or you’ll lose the team, lose the customer and lose the business.

  • The leader should consistently communicate the vision to the team to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

    • Absolutely! It’s so easy to get off track.

    • Great point Bernard. Keeping the vision alive is essential.

  • Couldn’t agree more and yes I have and still am.

  • Hey Dan and Joel,

    This article reminds me of this quote: “A team is only as strong as its weakest link”.

    And this quote also reminds me of Mike Filsaime’s and his reason for not using the “employee” word in his business:

    “There’s no glory in being an employee”.

    That’s why Mike calls everyone a Team Member instead.

    I think that says a lot about being a great leader and how to build a fantastic group of people that are happy to belong to your team.


    • Great quote and thoughts Sergio! The wording we use plays a huge role in the workplace. A change in wording can bring about a greater positive work environment. Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the topic.

    • Sergio – I’m glad you mentioned the weakest link…I’m also reminded of John Maxwell’s Leadership laws, specifically the “Law of the Lid.” Taken a step further, the team can only rise to the level of the leader’s lid. We’re in this together.

  • One of the earliest leadership lessons that I learned: “never ask a team member to do anything you would not do yourself.”

    • That’s a good lesson to learn. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • DS

    I try to learn from my mistakes as well as accelerate my learning by learning from others. I also try to promote sharing and encouragement by referring others to good resources that may be of help to people.

    • That’s a great mindset. Great point about “referring others to good resources.” That’s what good leaders do. Thank you for reading and adding to the topic.

  • I love that quote from Entreleadership. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ve heard great things about it.
    I am working on being a better leader of myself and others that God brings around me. Great post

    • It’s a good one:) It’s worth reading, especially if your thinking about starting a business. It’s all about becoming better people and leaders. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

    • Entreleadership is in my top 10….you should definitely check it out!

  • To be honest, I am still learning and trying to be a great leader for my team. I am in a continuous learning process, and I hope to one day become a Leader with a servants heart.

    • I think we should always be learning and striving to become better leaders for those we lead. Keep it up, your doing great! Thank you for reading.

  • I try to be a better leader by constantly working to improve myself – as my field is constantly evolving and you have to work hard to stay competent. I also realize I am the biggest limit to my team’s success, so I am constantly looking for places where I need to get out of the way.

    • That’s a great way Tom! Keep that same mindset. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Stevebloom2

    I’ve worked on becoming a better leader by building more self-awareness. I try to know what I’m good at and what I’m bad at. Then I try to build up those areas that need work. If I don’t know myself, it’s harder to know what to work on.

    • That’s a great way to become a leader, knowing self is so important. Thank you for reading and sharing.