Team

No Mail

What if you travel to the mailbox every day and find it empty? What if you sent out a request for funding as a year-end appeal and have not received a response? What if you asked people to provide their insights in a brief poll on an easy-to-return postcard and none returned? What if you announced you were going out of business, and nobody responded with good wishes or an inquiry about what happened?

It is convenient to think that our efforts do not inspire them just because we have yet to hear from our fans. I spoke with a thru-hiker who completed the Appalachian Trail. He remarked on how almost everyone adopted a trail name. Some were memorable, and one, in particular, stood out. A hiker who was roughly ten days ahead of him would sign in at various huts, peaks, and significant trail junctions. An individual that my friend had never met was an enduring source of inspiration. Each time he read this forerunner’s trail name in a trail log, he was inspired to keep going. He never caught or met this backpacker, but it influenced him to reach Mt. Katahdin in Maine and to share the story years later.

Your work might be creating the draft pulling along a whole peloton of invisible followers, and your endurance keeps them active in the adventure. Even if we cannot track every view, like, ride on, and accolade, we may be the linchpin for an unofficial team.

Are Accountability and Collaboration the Essential Components of Teamwork?

Might we represent teamwork in a four panel graphic? How fundamental are accountability and collaboration to measuring the effectiveness of a team?

What if we first define the team’s core values? A set of behaviors we will not sacrifice except under extreme duress (the building is on fire). What if we commit to hold those values as the highest priority for the team, above any metric or external evaluation? Does record growth on the balance sheet outweighs complete discord among a team? Can we be a team if a single individual does the majority of the work and takes credit for each victory?

Measuring a team’s unity and alignment is challenging, it requires us to take a human-centered approach. In the spirit of Simon Sinek, if we measure the numbers, we are managing. If we care for the people, we are leading.

Do you have a definition of team? What mindset do you use to measure a team’s success and engagement?

Where Are You Going (Not Where Have You Been)?

Lovely Lake Louise (HDR)I want to know where you are going and how I can join your next adventure.  Stories of past quests are entertaining and insightful but limited.  To connect we must share the trail.  The team that stand on the summit possesses a unique connection, different than the one with those who wished us well but did not climb.  Providing fuel for the journey helps but carrying the expedition’s supplies is an even greater reward.  Present a remarkable vision for the future and I look forward to being part of the team.