Teamwork actually makes the dream work

As a self-proclaimed long distance triathlete, it’s easy to say that because we (the triathletes) race without a team, we are solo athletes. But the reality is that it takes a team — an army, really — to get us to the start line of a race. That army is usually comprised of a coach, a health-squad (physio, massage, chiro, etc), a nutritionist, friends and family (with copious amounts of patience for this sweaty lifestyle) and select training partners with similar goals.

Training partners are critical, especially when the fatigue starts to build and it becomes easy to convince yourself that it’s okay to take the next training session a little bit easier. That’s why you need a partner (or two) to kick your butt in gear. This is especially true when cycling in a tight pack — you can’t show up to a group ride expecting to slack off the back. #nosandbaggers

The essence of a group ride is that you ride together.

If you can’t keep up, you get dropped. It is the fastest way to learn how to get home on your own. For a sport that appears to be a solo-effort, it is in fact highly dependent on a winning team combination.

When trying to translate inspiring athletic analogies to the workplace, of course, the highly enthusiastic and motivating coach on the sidelines is awesome — just like the manager who believes in you and can make coming to work a really great experience.

But where it all begins is curating the winning team.

You see, we have learned that in the coming year, 26% of U.S employees will be looking for a new job and an additional 15% are already actively pursuing new opportunities. That means that more than 40% of a team is on the look-out for a new team, and your current team is only functioning at a 60% commitment level.

These stats that make my eyes jump out of my head because 60% is closer to 50% than it is to 100% — meaning, the majority of teams are functioning closer to failure than they are to success.

This baffles me.

It is like showing up for a group ride thinking everyone will bring their A game, but ⅓ of the riders are bringing their D game. Not only am I terribly uninspired by people who bring less than their best, I certainly don’t want to be rolling out of town with a pack that may be more inclined to stop for coffee than actually finish the route of the day.

Which brings me back to the office application: who wants to be a part of a mediocre and half-committed team? Our leaders are responsible for creating the vision, and in some cases the framework of how to get to where we want to go. Our leaders are also responsible for curating the team to make it happen.

Let us be reminded that their most important task is to bring the right team together. Once you have your A-team, the next step to winning is committing to and trusting the leader.

It’s so much more fun (and productive) to go for group rides when the pack sticks together 100% of the time, and it’s far more inspiring to work on teams that are more than 60% committed.

While it starts with the leader, you always a choice…are you 40% out or 100% in?

Meet Steph. She is a force. She is a firecracker. She is a lover of love.

Category
Leadership Tips, Manager Training
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