Everyone Else Is Smarter At Something
March 7, 2014
By John Frost
Goodratings Strategic Service
Several years ago I helped launch a Christian music station in Indianapolis for a mainstream broadcaster. Because most of the air staff was imported from the other stations in the building we ended up only one person with any Christian radio experience. That didn't seem to be a big deal to us at the time until we began to encounter the all-to-familiar Christian radio speed bumps named Halloween and Harry Potter. 'How do we talk about THIS?", they would ask, freshly aware of the unsuspecting backlash to a Santa appearance at Dunkin' Donuts.
Fortunately, we had a very smart program director named David Wood that decided that the talent shouldn't go it alone. He began having monthly meetings for the specific purpose of having the on-air team help each other work through how to talk about movies, television programs, or the headlines of the day. (Relevant, then interesting). The meetings were a hit! Within a year the station hit #1 in Women 25-49 and we all received a free donut!
In my other life I announce some baseball games for the St. Louis Cardinals, the National League champions, thankyouverymuch! As spring training began Cardinals' manager Mike Matheny shared this perspective of team:
"It is an honor for each of us to put on the Cardinal uniform and to try to uphold the tradition and expectation of this great organization. We are anticipating some successes and some struggles. Some victories and some hard fought defeats. But one thing is for certain, we are going to take this journey together, shouldering each other's struggles, and setbacks, and celebrating the small and large victories as one unit with one common heartbeat. We will not do this flawlessly, but with a confident humility and a style of play that will make Cardinal nation proud of their TEAM. Let the Journey begin."
My pal Tommy Kramer tells of a station where the team culture was so pervasive that talent was encouraged to hotline others if they weren't hearing a talent's A game. Contrast that to the culture of a Christian station I visited recently where not one person was even listening to the station.
If someone on your air staff views their show as a shift, that assembly line "clock in, clock out" mentality will get in the way of developing a team culture.
My friend Alan Mason says, "Take a look around you. If you're successful it's partly because of the team around you. If you're not successful, by the way, it's partly because of the people around you. Everyone else is smarter at something."
The power of a team is not just a rah-rah speech for a locker room at the beginning of a season. Developing a united team is fundamental to your station's success!