I rode in a great cycling event today, the 4 Summit Challenge in Cascade, Idaho. One of the interesting things that happens in larger events is that a paceline forms. Each rider spends a minute or more at the front driving the group forward and everyone behind gets the benefit of their draft and save 30% on their energy output. In a well practiced paceline, each rider rotates down one side of the line and then works their way to the back to the front of the line. Ideally, when you are at the front your job is the maintain the speed and power that the previous rider established. Being consistent prevents gaps forming and surging. With an unpracticed group, their is a desire to demonstrate ones form and surges are inevitable, actually costing more effort as the paceline varies between sprinting and then coasting.
When you think about teamwork or leadership in your organization, how can each member add to the momentum of the team’s effort? How can you keep the exertion at its highest sustainable pace?
You need the people who believe what you believe. The ones who have signed-up for the journey. If you post an authentic help wanted sign you will attract the those that are committed come rain, sleet, snow, or fire. You do not need everyone. Be very selective.
When I was a volunteer firefighter it was clear to me who I wanted to be with when my team was assigned to go inside a burning building. I wanted those who made all the drills, the ones who were sensible among many distractions, individuals who brought their best and were not going to wander off in search of a higher profile assignments. There were those who were notorious for freelancing and these were the individuals who did not believe what I believed.
When you go on a quest to fulfill your mission, who do you want on your team? Have you written the right help wanted sign? Are they ready to go?
I am convinced more than ever that it takes just one person to change the focus and inspiration of any team. Consider the role a single flight attendant plays on an aircraft. You can almost feel the joy of one cabin crew and pain body of another. Or, watch how an firefighting engine crew arrives at a non-emergency call. Some squads connect immediately with people and are full of compassion. Others come across cynical and inconvenienced by the call. You see the importance of one among many in schools, sports teams, business enterprises, and hotel lobbies.
You make a difference. Just being in the picture changes the landscape. Your impact is transformational. What are you bringing to your team?
Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.
Attended the Sun Valley Summer Symphony summer gala, ‘Some Enchanted Evening.’ Headliners included Tony Award winning singers (Victoria Clark and Paulo Szot) supported by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. An evening dedicated to the works of Roger & Hammerstein. The stars arrived, rehearsed and then performed and jetted back to New York in a 24 hour period. The choreography of their performance and the energy of the symphony appeared polished and well-rehearsed. Entrances, exits, romantic kisses. The whole evening felt much like we had flown to Broadway instead of Broadway coming to Idaho. What was most remarkable was the stars synergy. This was not two recognized talents trying to steal the evening. It was teamwork with their respective co-star, the conductor, and musicians. Visible appreciation for each others unique talents. By the end of the night the patrons wanted more, almost disappointed that they could not coax a second encore.
Clearly Victoria, Paulo and guest conductor Ted Sperling are professionals. What they could not fake was their enthusiasm and authentic passion for the place, people, and moment.
Do you have the right performers? Are you maximizing their talents? Is it authentic?
Attended a Lyle Lovett concert last night. Probably the sixth time I have seen him and his large band. He puts on a great show in my estimation. Lyle seems to have a handle on the local community and is able to make reference to a couple places he visited while in-town. It makes you feel like he went out and explored in the community and did not just roll in on the tour bus, play, and leave.
One of Lyle’s greatest skills as a performer is his ability to share the spotlight with all the musicians he has on tour with him. I recognize many of the members of his band so there appears to be a loyalty and desire to continue touring with Lyle. He arranges songs that give the entire band a chance to demonstrate their talents. The vocal back-up singers are impressive in themselves. Add a violin, bass, keyboard, guitar, cello, piano, horn, fiddle, drums and you have the making a large band.
How do you arrange your meetings so all your staff and board get a chance to shine? Does your organization inspire loyalty? Do people want to stay involved?