Saturday, April 04, 2015

Be a Wingman

As I was watching this morning's television news sports reporter interview a few of the boys from a local high school lacrosse team, I found myself thinking, "how poised are these kids?"  Sure, they're a little camera shy, and they used the word "awesome" a bit too much, but what was truly impressive was the praise they deflected towards their teammates.  

Now, you see this all the time with athletes at all levels, so much so, that I have to believe that it has become a core component of the coaching curriculum.

It got me thinking about the crossover to all teams in life, and in particular how it relates to the vibe and overall enjoyment at work.  Work is at its best, similar to sports teams, when everyone takes pride in what they do and everyone knows that they can depend on their team members. But what makes a team truly special is when there's personal glue.

Personal glue is the bond of caring.  When a team has chemistry it binds together via a set of shared values and experiences, shaped through overcoming obstacles with the positive reinforcement of "winning".   As a result, personal bonds emerge and the team starts to take on its own identity.  There is no greater way to reinforce that identity than to pass accolades on to teammates.

It cements the glue.  And even though every team member is special and critical in their own right, the team wins and is much more likely to continue on that track.   Now we have a virtuous cycle, a self reinforcing, annealing, winning machine.

In another word, "fun"

So, to get the "fun" engine running, be a wingman.  Pass on some of those accolades.  Celebrate the wins.  Build the glue.   

Watching those lacrosse kids almost made me jealous.  They're part of something bigger than each of them individually, and they're having so much fun. Then I remembered,  I'm in the same boat with an amazing team of my own, its my kids, it's my crew @roundpegg,  it's the great peeps @awesomeboulder.

Find your over awesome.  Start by being a great wingman.

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