As an exciting summer of sport draws to a close, one which has albeit been dogged by tales of widespread doping and corruption, I’ve been reflecting on the importance of team work. Two particular examples stand out to me; the England Rugby team winning their first ever series in Australia and Team GB surpassing their London 2012 medal haul. Both of these results came against the odds after England crashed out of a home World Cup in 2015 at the group stages and no nation having ever beaten their medal tally directly after a home Olympics.
These two achievements were made possible thanks to the dedication and hard work of the teams involved, as well as strong leadership all working together towards a common goal and using individual strengths to maximum effect. They each had a plan, an ultimate aim and an agreed path to make sure they achieved their objective, despite any obstacles they might have encountered.
While clearly we aren’t elite athletes, the sporting analogy is a useful one to describe the team here at Target. To me, it’s one of the main reason I’ve worked here for nine years and although team members have come and gone, I’ve always liked the emphasis we place on working as a collective to achieve great results for our clients.
Yes, we’ve had challenges along the way, but I’ve no doubt that working well as a team has helped us get through these, learn from them and allowed us to continually evolve as an agency. We each have our individual strengths and where possible make sure we play to these which means we get the most out of the team as a whole and our clients reap the benefits.
Being a relatively small team, we all have to muck in, whether you’re the chief executive or an account exec and I think this helps foster a great team ethos. Embracing accountability is a key focus for us, ensuring everyone takes responsibility, but that they also feel supported and can ask for help when needed.
However, no team is going to perform to its best without strong leadership. Using the sporting analogy again (I’m nothing if not predictable), this has been key to the success of England Rugby and Team GB. Straight talking Eddie Jones has turned English rugby’s fortunes around, taking them to the number two ranked team in the world, while the cumulative success of performance driven Chef d’Equipes who head up all our Olympic sports, helped beat Olympic super power China in the medal table at Rio 2016.
Without (hopefully) coming across as too cheesy, at Target we are lucky to have two strong female leaders in directors Sarah Bryars and Sam Kandiyali who help guide and steer the team, supported by our chairman Colin Spencer. And if you’re thinking well, I would say that, I would like to point you in the direction of our Business of the Year win at the Gloucestershire Women of the Year Awards earlier this year. From my point of view, Sarah and Sam complement each other well, lead by example and, with the guidance from Colin, have played no small part in making Target the well respected agency it is today.
Just as Eddie Jones is targeting 2019 World Cup success and Team GB will be looking to build on and potentially surpass their medal tally in Tokyo 2020, Target also has a short, medium and long term plan. We will be celebrating our 40th birthday next year which will inevitably involve reflection, but more importantly we will be looking forward and thinking about what success looks like for us.