Several years ago, the Rotary Club of Shreveport held dragon boat races on the Red River. My business friend, Tom Arceneaux, a Director of the Blanchard, Walker, O’Quinn & Roberts law firm, writes a business development article. In a recent post, Tom mentions the dragon boats. Following is an excerpt from his article.
“…Admiral McRaven … describes the SEAL boat crews on small rubber boats to fight the waves, get through the surf zone, and paddle several miles down the California coast. What matters most is not strength, but teamwork.”
“This reminds me of the several years when the Rotary Club of Shreveport sponsored a dragon boat tournament on the Red River. Dragon boats are slim boats with 20 paddlers, one person to steer, and a drummer or caller. I was part of a couple of dragon boat teams, and what we learned quickly was the synchronization of the crew was the most important thing, not how strong the paddlers were.”
“Really great teams are in sync with each other, not competing with each other.”
The Caddo Parish Fire Department’s team won the dragon boat races several times. Although they had some strong individuals, they won because they practiced as a TEAM, both for work and in race preparation. Their synchronicity was obvious when you watched them paddle their boat.
In the 1990’s, the Chicago Bulls were a team of highly strong, talented, and big-ego players. Yet, Coach Jackson kept them in check, providing each player with separate and distinct coaching based on their individual personalities. This kept the team working in sync toward the common goal while keeping egos in check.
Are your team members in sync with each other, working toward a common goal?
Chances are, you did not choose the people on your teams; you inherited them. You may also have at least 1 strong and 1 weak team member. How can you get your team working in sync toward the department and organization goals? Below are some ideas.
Revisit or determine new goals as needed for your area.
How will you measure the steps to reach the goals? (What gets measured gets managed. – Peter Drucker)
Share the goal(s) with your team in an energetic manner. Energy from a manager is highly contagious.
Work with each individual, providing guidance, coaching, encouragement, and even correction.
Have regular check-ins to review the numbers together. Encourage teammates to help each other reach the goal.
Celebrate successes. Celebrations can be quick 5-minute team meetings announcing the success and high-fiving, or a batch of home-made cookies to share as you verbally acknowledge their excellence. Just celebrate TOGETHER.
If your team is performing subpar, start with a small, easy to obtain goal. Once accomplished, celebrate, then move to the next goal.
Remember, people want to be part of a winning team. And, a winning team is always in sync.
As we move toward normalcy, take advantage of your fresh start. Provide your team the vision and inspiration to work in sync, accomplishing goals together. Efficient, successful teams save time, money, enjoy work, and provide a better service to your customers and clients.
Teri Haynes | Business Interactions, LLC | Improving human interactions in business