Why You Need a Diverse Team to Succeed

Why You Need a Diverse Team to Succeed

February 18, 2015

Cultivating a strong team environment isn't easy, especially in a society that emphasizes individual performance. But with some team-building effort, you can help the group work toward a common goal and improve creativity, problem solving and productivity. RDBA chatted with Subriana Pierce, managing partner of Navigator Sales & Marketing, a food broker and consulting and coaching company for consumer goods, about building a strong team.

Why is it important to cultivate a strong team?

Cultivating a strong team is at the essence of our mission as leaders. All team members have something different and unique to offer. And sometimes the ones that are performing at their peak get the attention. Some aren't at their full potential, and that can lead to mediocre performance. But we are all paid for performance when it comes right down to it. And we have to rely on each other as a team to deliver those results and great performance.  

Why can it be hard to get people to work together on a team? 

I think we live in a culture of individualism. Everyone wants to shine. We sometimes don't realize that our best comes out when we've worked as a team and accomplished something together. Those are the biggest achievements I've had. Not what I did on my own but what I helped the team to achieve. 

There are two critical areas for getting others to work well on a team:  

Number one is trust! You have the most incredible power to inspire and motivate others to live up to the expectations when you simply put trust in them that they can do it. They will then bring that individual confidence to a team environment.  

Secondly, give team members a voice. There are some soft-spoken powerhouses out there. If they don't get a voice, you never get to that BIG IDEA!

What are some ways to build more strong and efficient teams?

  • Don't hire people on your team that look and think like you. You need diversity of thought, of age, of background, of culture, of experience and the list goes on and on. It’s also up to the manager to demonstrate how diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives could help provide more innovative solutions. The more diverse your team, the more you can make powerful contributions.  
  • Listen to your team. Let them get involved in helping to set the vision, and then it will be much easier to execute the vision when they've been engaged in the process.
  • Set performance goals: It is not enough to look and feel like a great team. Are you producing results like a great team? Ensure that performance goals are in place, celebrate the small wins and the big ones!  

 

In 2012, Subriana Pierce left corporate America to become a Managing Partner of Navigator Sales & Marketing. The mission of the company is to help companies and individuals navigate the corporate retail environments to win in the consumer marketplace.    

Most recently, Subriana served as Senior Vice President, Sales and Merchandising for Albertsons Southern California Division. Prior to joining Supervalu, Subriana spent over 10 years in Sales and Marketing roles with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Division.  

Throughout her career, Subriana has been recognized for outstanding achievements which over the years include 2015 Griffin Report “Influential Women in Grocery,” “Top Woman in Grocery” by Progressive Grocer magazine, “Top 100 Executive Under 50” by Diversity MBA magazine and “Top 25 Influential Black Women” by The Network Journal. She was honored by the Food Industry Management Club of LA as “Woman in the Industry” for 2012. She has been recognized by her alma mater, Spelman College, as a Distinguished Alumnae in Business.  

Subriana and her husband Allen reside in Southern CA and have been married for almost 25 years. They are the proud parents of six children.   

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