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Teamwork—Does It Matter Who Is in Charge?

We shot Glass Doctor’s national TV commercials this week in Waco, Texas, for the last three days. I’ve never been on a national shoot before and had no idea about the intricacies of this. Amazing stuff.

Fortunately, we have a person at Dwyer Group, Greg Jurls, who is an expert at this and has directed many national shoots over the years. I knew he was good—but I had no idea how good.

He brought in a group of five people for cameras, lighting, etc.,—Damon, Kyle, John, Alan and Freddie. Bob, the photographer who Greg hired, was blended with the team as he took the stills over the three days.. 

From Glass Doctor, Brad Voreis, Frank Levesque (who has convinced me he is the best technical person in the history of glass!) and I were on all the sets. Kari Sander from our marketing department coordinated this with assistance from Mike, James and Jeff, who are also from marketing. Greg knew Damon and John because they were students of his at Baylor. Cindy did the make up. (Shockingly, she didn’t ask to put any makeup on me, though.)

We brought in three franchisees as our “actors.” I’ve always believed the real thing is better than someone hired for commercials like these. Jason Pingert came in from Saskatoon; Gustavo Ramos from the Los Angeles area; and Austin Evans from Montana.

We also had three real customers—Steve and Mary Louise for their shower replacement; Greg for his chip repair; and Jennifer for her windshield replacement. To top things off we replaced a bad IGU in my house.

Whew! We started at 8 a.m. on Thursday and finished at 5 p.m. on Saturday. What stands out for me is Friday morning when I had 18+ people standing in my living room with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cameras and equipment before 8 a.m. chomping at the bit to get started for the day.

When my wife Mary Kay and I go to see a movie, I always mention, incredulously, about the amount of people it takes to do a movie when I see the credits roll at the end. Since she was in TV production for many years this is all no surprise to her. I now somewhat understand.

I want to focus on the teamwork I witnessed with Greg, Damon, John and Kyle. The interaction of them behind the camera and watching the monitor was amazing. There were no egos whatsoever. Although it seemed that Damon was in charge he quickly gave the reigns to John or Kyle to get their opinion on a shot. Although Greg was the corporate guy who was, in fact, the director—you wouldn’t have known this. They deferred to him … but less than Greg deferred to them.

Saturday was a special surprise. Jason, from Equalizer, drove the 80+ miles from the Austin, Texas, area to Waco to deliver the soon-to-be-released Viper. Then he stayed for and shared his expertise throughout the day on the best way to use this tool for windshield removal. Talk about innovation!

About 4:45 p.m. we all looked at each other and realized that the shooting was complete—and soon the job of editing would start so we can complete the commercials. But for those moments of time I was reminded of a very valuable lesson when it came to leadership. Leadership is about getting things done—leadership is not about telling others to do it.

As Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter would say, “Some people walk into a room and say, ‘Here I am.’ Others walk into a room and say, ‘There you are!’”

That is what this team did. They shared, they laughed, they worked from sun up to sun down, they shot a scene 20 times to make sure they got the exact one they needed.

Everyone was an integral member of the team although everyone had their own special talent such as lighting, camera angles, etc. Everything was focused on quality. Everything was about the finished product and making the customer (us) happy.

This week’s lesson: Teamwork is magic. Especially when the final product is better than anyone could have done individually. Being able to put that special team together, however, is what leadership is all about, isn’t it?

I know one thing. Next time we do a shoot—I want the same team. Are you customers saying the same thing about your team?

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