Hyenas, Horses and Humans

The Importance of Teamwork is Emphasized by Three Local Business Owners Who Know the Value of Working Together.

Hyenas are scavengers. Their motivation is strictly survival. They will hunt if necessary but are happy with someone else’s leftovers.

Horses are motivated by a carrot dangling in front of them or a stinging stick behind them. Similarly, reward and punishment is a motivational strategy still used today by many unenlightened employers.

Survival is our most basic motivation. When I look back at the jobs that my father held, they were all about doing whatever needed to be done to get a paycheck. When I entered the workforce, the idea of a promotion or more pay was juxtaposed with the threat of termination.

But the times are different now. There are many more jobs, occupations, and careers from which we can chose. We are human and demand more than just a paycheck. We want to find purpose in our work. We want to feel that our existence and contributions have meaning. Smart employers know this and offer opportunities for growth; they listen, and they help their team find internal motivation through a sense of purpose.

Joe Janicki, Brightway Insurance in Lake Zurich, is an enthusiastic leader who strives to help his team do their absolute best. He goes out of his way to find like-minded individuals to work with. Joe believes that if his people share the same values and vision, they offer a more reliable and rewarding client experience. “Our focus is on helping people first, selling insurance second.” Janicki said. “When your team is on the same page, it is easy to define success. And it is easy to help each member feel involved in the fulfillment of the customers’ needs.”

One of my favorite people is Bonnie Conte of Avalon Salon Spa and VIBE Salon. Her happiness radiates through her team to their clientele. Stop by this amazing place in Lake Zurich ( and you will always be greeted with warm, welcoming smiles. When talking about her team, Bonnie gushed, “Each one of these incredible people make Avalon what it is… a fun place to work which in turn allows us to always give clients our very best.”

Bonnie holds an annual tradition called “Team Week” which “isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ at Avalon… we believe it’s an absolute necessity to share these ‘play days’ outside of the salon together,” she said.

In October they spent time at Milk & Honey Farmstead (Wauconda), creating a memorable experience with food, friends and fun: “There’s nothing like getting together with your work besties and being creative together to bring out the best in everyone.”

And you can’t talk about fun at the workplace without mentioning Joe and Carrie Turner of Restoration 1 (Cary). This entertaining twosome built their team on two principles, “Take care of our community, and take care of our employees,” Joe said.

Early on, the Turners realized that to succeed they needed a passionate team willing to grow with them. They put an emphasis on continued training that is never boring and always engaging. They have gone so far as “smoking” their own trailer and flooding their own basement to double down on employee trust and amusement.

Businesses succeed because of the devotion and commitment of their teams. Great teams are built on opportunity, communication, trust, and a whole lot of fun.

Marty Jalove is an International Personal and Professional Life & Business Coach. A euphoric optimist, he persistently pursues his passion of helping others harness happiness. Learn more at

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