Team Traditions

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Hi Coach,” George welcomed me as I sat down.

“Hi George,” I replied.  “Nice resto.”

“My friend owns it,” he said.  “Roy started it last year.”

“It’s full,” I said.  “It must be doing well.”

“Yes it is.”

“He must have a great team,” I said.

“I think so,” he said.  “Speaking of team, what do you think I should do next?”

“Let’s see,” I tried retrieving my mental notes, “You have one-on-one time with them, you know what motivates each, and you put in place both team and individual incentive plans.”

“Right.”

“Invite your core group to this resto or any other good resto,” I said.

“I am already doing that.”

“Good,” I replied.  “Are you doing it regularly?”

“No.”

“So when do you do it?” I asked.

“When it seems appropriate, I guess.”

“That is where you can make a little improvement.”

“What do you mean, coach?”

“Though it is good to have spontaneous moments when you invite your core group out, it is advisable to have a little tradition,” I explained.

“You mean like something regular?” George asked.

“Why not?”

“We can try it,” he said.  “What other little traditions do you practice, coach?”

“Well, every Monday morning is Strategic Monday,” I said. “We all step back and look at what we are doing from a big picture perspective.”

“I see.”

“Then we begin questioning what we do?” I said.  “We make sure that the details of last week and what we will do this week will be aligned to our overall goals.”

“Sounds good,” he said.  “So you critique your actions.”

“Yes.”

“Sensitive people beware,” George smiled.

“Do you have a sensitive member in the team?”

“Yup.”

“Then introduce this to them slowly,” I warned.

“Yes, I know,” he said.  “I can begin by asking them to critique me.”

“Good,” I exclaimed. “Model it first.”

“What other traditions, coach?”

“We have celebration every end of the week.”

“You mean you party every week?” he asked.

“No,” I said.  “We have a stand up meeting.  Each one narrates what he believes should be celebrated for that week.”

“You have a meeting standing up?”

“Yes.”

“Why? George asked.

“Oh, that is to keep me from using too much time,” I said.  “Sometimes, I keep speaking.”

George chuckled.  “Just like me.  Don’t know when to quit.”

“Yeah! That’s us.”

“Give me an example,” he said. “What do they say during celebration moment?”

“Okay,” I said. “Someone mentioned that they sent 20 proposals that week.  Another said that he closed one deal.  And another mentioned what she learned from a mistake.  Another achieved clarity.”

“That sounds fun,” George replied.

“It works both ways,” I said. “If you have nothing to celebrate for the week, you will feel out of place.”

“Aha!” he exclaimed.  “That tradition motivates them to work well otherwise, it will be shameful if you have nothing to celebrate.”

“But it feels satisfying to share your accomplishments for the week.”

“I think I’ll adapt that,” George said.

“Hey George,” I called his attention to the menu.  “Aren’t we forgetting something?”

“Oh sorry Coach,” he beckoned to the waiter.  “Please get his order.”

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