What Great Team Players Really Do
True story. I’m in a sixth-grade PE class and we’re running relays. Instead of around-the-oval relays where you pass the baton from behind, we’re running back and forth on a straight line. You run straight at the person you’ll pass the baton to; they take it and run right back the other way.
Assume Good Intent, then Ask a Question
We spend a lot of time with our clients helping them learn to become truly open and honest with each other. That requires lots of trust building (which happens in real time during meetings, not out in the woods on rope courses).
It also requires changing some deeply embedded behaviors, one of which is how we respond to comments, ideas and suggestions with which we disagree.
The Unarguable Position
Years ago, a wise coach taught me that “You can’t not have your thoughts and feelings.” Neuroscience tells us that they occur in your brain in about 3/1000’s of a second. That’s too fast for you to either stop or control. You get to decide what to do about them, but not having them is not an option.
The good news for you is that because you can’t stop or control them your thoughts and feelings, you have every right to have them. You also have every right to tell other people what they are. All you have to do is acknowledge that they’re not objective truths. They’re just your thoughts and feelings.
Work Yourself Out of a Job
In a recent post, I told the story of a client whose head of engineering – a very strong player – quit suddenly, just as the corona virus shutdown was looming. Under pressure, they quickly promoted one of their staff engineers to take his place. To their great surprise, they quickly learned that he was every bit as strong as the person he replaced, and perhaps even stronger.
Client Spotlight: Farmer’s Fridge
Farmer’s Fridge is a startup with a BHAG of making healthy food as accessible as a candy bar. If you live in greater Chicago (and now Milwaukee, metro New York and elsewhere), you may have seen their vending machines in office buildings, airports, hospitals and more. The challenge they’ve taken on is enormous, and they’re well on their way.
As Go You. . .
When we get a team together for an EOS® Quarterly session, the first thing we do is debrief on the last 90 days. How did we do? How accountable were we? What did we learn that will help us build a better plan for the next 90 days and do a better job of executing it?
As you might imagine, right now those debriefs include a lot of reflection on how the team responded to the COVID-19 shutdown. Crises pressure-test everything. As one team member said recently, “You see everyone’s true colors.”
How Many Matts?
Early in the last quarter, the company’s Head of Engineering left unexpectedly. He was exceptionally talented, so his departure left a hole. Needing to move fast, the company moved Engineering under Operations and promoted one of the engineers, Matt, to run it. It was a battlefield promotion, and no one sure it how it would go. As it turned out. . .