We <3 Our Clients: Shining the light on good people doing good things
Winston Faircloth’s on a mission of redemption.
“For Love of Team came out of my own painful experience as a founder of a technology organization,” he explains. “I really prioritized my clients and my products. I was always taking the side of my clients, which meant I had a pretty horrible culture inside.”
Winston’s no longer leading the charge at his tech company; instead, he’s helping executives learn from his mistakes and prioritize their people over products and clients.
“The client-centric approach is a big part of management dogma,” he says. But what Winston noticed when he stepped back and studied various models of leadership and management is that team-centric cultures outperform the rest.
“There’s just so much that we have to unlearn. The industrial age approach to management doesn’t work anymore. People have options about how and where they spend their precious time,” he explains.
Winston prefers to think of employees as freelancers — talented professionals who can bring immense value to a company’s bottom line but aren’t willing to stick around in adverse conditions.
“The great resignation is happening right now, and it’s in part because gifted people will not be micromanaged,” says Winston.
Part of Winston’s re-education process involves helping leaders understand two key responsibilities:
- Compelling the “why” and
- Clearly defining success.
“The rest? The how? You leave that up to your gifted collaborators,” he says.
Winston thinks of himself as an anti-consulting consultant. He’s not going to come into your business, conduct interviews, and submit a report of his findings. Instead, he will facilitate an opportunity for self-discovery that helps both leadership and team members form their own conclusions.
He offers his consulting service in a program called Unlocked. The program is structured in cohorts for founders and business executives or as company-wide intensives for teams.
In both formats, individuals see data, draw conclusions, and pose solutions with fresh eyes. “It’s an experience that results in a shared understanding of what the data means and shared ownership of what to do about it,” says Winston.
By giving the problem-solving power to teams, Unlocked puts leadership in a position that forces them to step back and listen to the ideas and solutions identified by their employees.
“We call it Unlocked because it unlocks innovation that is typically siloed,” he explains.
2021 has proven to be an outstanding year for Winston Faircloth’s business. “It wasn’t because of anything I had on the business plan. It came from being open and willing to say yes to what the marketplace was asking for and demanding of me.”
It’s another example of advice Winston learned the hard way. Sometimes even the most thoughtful and detailed plans aren’t the best approach. Instead, over the years, Winston has learned to be less prescriptive in his decision-making.
“With MACKEY, yes, we’re being analytical in terms of milestones and the tasks it takes to reach our milestones, but we’re also staying open to what will unfold that we don’t know,” he explains.
The openness is part of what has allowed For Love of Team to thrive. Winston’s willingness to adapt, eagerness to hear new ideas, and commitment to self-improvement have positioned him to successfully coach others to achieve their goals.
“When you put your people first, it’s going to unlock your income, your impact, and your freedom,” Winston says.
For more sage advice from Winston, check out his podcast. It’s full of valuable insight. One of our favorites? Winston discusses communication channels and how to develop communication systems that don’t run your team into the ground.