Teamwork: Feeding Off Each Other in a Friend-zy
Posted by The Leadership Mints Guy on October 24, 2011
By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s are idea to strengthen the bond of teamwork in your staff.
So happy together…” I was humming that old Turtles song the other day and I recalled an allegory on teamwork that I often used in the mentoring seminars I conducted for a large company. The moral of the story always seemed to strengthen the bonds between mentor and mentee. Maybe this allegory can be of some utility to you in your team building.
There’s a legend about two neighboring cities that shared the same contaminated water source. All of the residents fell victim to a disease that stiffened their elbows. They could move their arms but could not bend their elbows. All of the people in one of the towns starved to death. Yet most of the people in the other town — though still paralyzed– survived. How? They fed each other.
Leaders feed others first in a kind of feeding “friend-zy” that nourishes and fosters growth. They create a shared environment where their staffs feed off one another rather than feed on each other. They turn their companies into communities where citizens (i.e. employees) have a shared value, a common fate, a similar understanding. And that spirit of associating together is clearly reflected in more productive behaviors in much the same way horses are easier to handle if they are able to touch noses with other horses.
Leaders are Like Molecules of Chloride:
They Exist Only When They Are Paired
Leaders recognize that they are like molecules of chloride: they exist only when they are paired, when they come together. Chloride is too unstable chemically to exist on its own in nature . Chloride exists only when two molecules bond together in a liaison, which is French for “bond.”
With that bond firmly in place, leaders can make beautiful music with their followers in much the same way that violinists know their music is heard best vibrating off the other strings not in playing the single string. In fact acoustic researchers have demonstrated that if EACH OF the strings on a violin were placed on a different cradle and you played that string, the music in that string wouldn’t sound nearly as good as if it were played on a violin with all the other strings together.
That kind of reciprocal team play caught the attention of “Democracy in America’ author Alexis de Tocqueville when he wrote about the essence of Americans that: “Feelings and ideas are renewed, the heart enlarged and the understanding developed only by reciprocal action of men one upon the other.”
The greater that reciprocal action the greater the performance as Phil Jackson, 6-time National Basketball Association champion coach says. Writing in his book “ Sacred Hoops, Jackson urges teams to “embrace a vision in which the group imperative takes precedence over individual glory and success comes from being awake, aware and in tune with others.”
The more IN TUNE you are with others the more TUNED UP your personal engine is in revving your creative energy as author Peter Senge notes.
In his book The Fifth Discipline, Senge observed that “ When you ask people about what it’s like being part of a great team, what’s most striking is the meaningfulness of the experience. People talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being connected, of being generative.” Maybe even being able to fly like an angel. At least that’s what Luciano de Crescenzo says: “We are each of us angels with only one wing and we can fly only by embracing one another.” In a feeding “friend-zy!” So happy together.
How do you strengthen the bonds of teamwork in our organization ?I look forward to your thoughts. Use the Comments section below.
Embrace your staff as part of your physical being to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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