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The Rupp Report
Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

Team Spirit

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

Europe is under fever, soccer fever — the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship is underway. Sixteen teams are fighting for the cup to be the best national team in Europe. Some squads are already out of the tournament. It is very interesting to see that not only the teams with the best individual players survive in this very tough tournament. Team spirit is the key word for success. The most promising teams to win the cup are those that play just like the perfect choreography of a ballet. This event is another perfect example that the winning team needs to have a team spirit with team players, not individuals only.

The same thoughts can be applied to textile industry. What is a successful salesman without a perfect team in the back office? I just met the chairman of a big company, and he told me no one is allowed to accept an order without being sure that the order can be delivered on time.

Despite written agreements, cell phones and e-communications with all the included eventualities, every relationship takes place between people. Textile machinery producers must not only develop competence in this area, but also create a level of trust that will make them a preferred supplier in their respective areas. It is services to the manufacturing industry that constitutes the decisive factor. And this means people before all else.

Team Spirit
It’s easy to imagine the following situation: you are invited to visit a big company and its production halls. Instantly, you realize the spirit of the company: does the boss know the names of his people? How do the people react when he appears? Do they look right into his eyes? Do they say hello in a positive way, or do they bow and scrape?

Get The Feeling
Years ago, any job advertisement asked for experience and knowledge only. Today, the first question is: Are you a team player? Nobody can afford to have selfish people. So, how do you care for the team spirit of your staff? Are they allowed to argue? Are they allowed to have their own ideas and opinions, and even fight for it? Or do you treat them like slaves? Information means motivation. Motivated people with a team spirit are the biggest asset of a company.

Do you know the 99 job killers by heart? Why do people respect lawyers, doctors and priests? Because they listen to you. So listen to your people and build up a true team spirit, for the sake of the people and — last, but not least — to be successful in the ever-so-competitive markets.

Get A Grip
The next opportunity to get a grip and show the team spirit of your staff is not far way. It’s the ITMA Asia and CITME 2008 in Shanghai. Only with motivated people can you win the game. A driving chain is only as good as the weakest link.

Oh yes, by the way, my team — the Swiss squad —already is out of the tournament because sometimes team spirit is not enough, it needs quality too. But that is another story.

June 17, 2008