February 18, 2014

Great Accomplishments Require Great Teams



Each year, I like to dedicate the first staff meeting to reviewing events and projects from the previous year. We discuss our successes and challenges, many of which come from circumstances no one could have predicted. Then, it's time to move on to the new year - new budgets, new projects, new bases.


It goes like this every year. As Atlantic's CFO Dan Reinheimer likes to say, "You gotta love the cycle."


Recently, I was talking to a friend who asked me how business was and how 2014 was shaping up. I ran down the list of projects on my radar: breaking ground on a total rebuild of our Houston Hobby (HOU) FBO; remodeling lobbies at Teterboro (TEB) and Stewart (SWF); managing the influx of traffic for the Super Bowl in New York; integrating four new bases in Florida into the Atlantic network; and the multitude of other projects that will compete for resources and attention, even if none of the other items even happen.


My friend asked, "How do you do it? How is it possible to have a handle on all of that along with the regular day-to-day demands of the job?"


I have thought about his question a lot since then. As a Vice President of Regional Operations, I oversee 24 Atlantic locations. I can't do it all. It's simply not possible, not without a team of folks committed to the same goals and standards. But it's also more complicated than that.


A team is not something that just happens. A team is something you build over time, matching talent to task, supporting members at their weakest, and leveraging their strengths and skills to overcome these same weaknesses and the situations they face everyday. Teammates bring different personalities, styles, approaches and areas of expertise. They accomplish things differently from one another, and differently from me.

But they accomplish things, everyday.


For me as the team captain, the challenge is to:

• Direct, manage and fine tune the process while still giving each team member the room he or she needs to find a way to succeed and grow within the company;

• Find a method of accountability that encourages risk and responsibility at the same time; and

• Encourage freedom within limits, allowing for personal creativity with a consistent managerial approach.


But one thing is certain: without the team, the tasks I find in front of me for 2014 - new budgets, new projects, new bases - would be impossible.


I have been very lucky in my tenure at Atlantic to be able to assemble an extremely talented team of managers. They are all from different backgrounds, political points of view, ages and styles. If we got together for a photo, we would be quite the group. But together we are a great team, capable of great things. Being asked to lead this team is without a doubt the best part of my job.


So I say to 2014, "Bring it!"


The team is ready.


Guest post by Glen Gross, Atlantic's Vice President of Regional Operations.