Trust. Being a team player. It’s what every workplace needs to thrive and excel in the industry, but the truth is that it’s not so easy to come by. Politics, office drama, and selfishness tend to interfere with our best intentions and goals.
Today, we are speaking to Molly Fletcher, of MWF Enterprises. Not only does she believe that every corporate environment is meant to be a cohesive team, she has dedicated her career to helping employers and employees discover this truth for themselves. And the results can completely revolutionize the workplace. How? Read on for Molly’s answer!
4word: Can you share a bit about your career path? What led to MWF Enterprises?
Molly: My career path hasn’t been a linear one and I’m grateful for that because I think it’s given me diverse experiences. I think I’ve always been open to and embraced opportunities, while finding a way to pursue my passions. I was a student-athlete at Michigan State and I had a desire to work in the sports industry, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. I moved to Atlanta at age 22 to chase that dream. I worked part-time jobs while I interviewed and networked within the industry. I was hired by a small sports and entertainment agency. There I started in marketing, then shifted to the representation side, eventually serving as President of Client Representation, where I represented over 300 athletes, coaches, and broadcasters while managing a team of agents.
After spending almost two decades as a sports agent, I decided in 2010 to start my own company, MWF. I saw so many parallels between the sports space and the business world, which led to an opportunity to share my experiences with a broader audience. I spend a large amount of my time traveling the country speaking to Fortune 500 and other corporate audiences about business development, leadership, teamwork, and recruiting. Our company is all about transforming the relationships that make business successful. We do a lot of team development work as well, both with companies and sports teams. Many of these resources are also available on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
4word: One of your program goals is creating authentic relationships. How do co-workers relationships with each other affect their work?
Molly: It’s just like it is in sports. Co-workers are teammates and you have to learn how to shift from pseudo relationships to authentic relationships. If you have teammates that are connected and understand each other, it changes the culture. Whether you are talking about sports or corporate teams, the best teams do it for each other. They just don’t work alongside each other; they sacrifice their self-interest for a larger vision. I think anytime you have that level of trust and engagement, you can create something really special. And when you don’t, your vision can crumble rapidly.
4word: Are authentic relationships possible in the corporate environment? How do you encourage women to take down their masks and be real?
Molly: Yes, yes and yes! I think women especially have a tendency to let fears or others expectations dictate too much. Authenticity to me means making a choice to live in curiosity, not fear. We have to put our egos aside and have a real love for learning. I’m a big believer in feedback too. I think people who embrace feedback are receiving a gift and I always try to be mindful of that. It’s a big part of growth.
4word: How do you encourage companies to develop trust with their employees?
Molly: Trust is developed via their behavior, not just their words. Trust takes time and it takes effort to develop. You have to demonstrate credibility, consistency, and a willingness to be a little bit vulnerable. And you can’t let self-interest dictate decisions. The minute self-interest tips the equation, you lose trust.
4word: The type of corporate culture you strive to create goes against the norm. What kind of reactions have you seen?
Molly: Very positive. The irony is people want to connect with others, but a lot of times the structures and processes we implement get in the way. At MWF, we help companies remove some of the perceived barriers that emerge within corporate structures and we emphasize authentic relationships and communication.
What is your corporate environment like? Do you trust your team and co-workers, or is there room for improvement?
After nearly two decades of recruiting top athletes, coaches, and media personalities, Molly Fletcher started her own firm, MWF Enterprises, serving as President and CEO. Molly is a popular keynote speaker on topics such as relationship and business management, client service, leadership and more. She has also authored two books, Your Dream Job Game Plan, a tactical guide to becoming your own career agent, and The Business of Being the Best, in which she extracts the common traits found in top performers.