Monday, 14 September 2009

There's no 'I' in team

Today we had a staff team day. Somewhere deep inside I still flinch when they approach in the diary, a buried reflexive response to some horror shows in the distant past.

Geoff was a director in the Manchester office of our multi-national insurance corporation who made Ricky Gervais look like a balanced & considerate boss. His leadership style seemed to shift at rapid tangents, dependent on the courses he'd been on, the articles he'd never quite finish reading, or his own instinctive nous for a 'winner' of an idea.

On reflection, & with the benefit of much hindsight, I can thank God for Geoff & all that he has taught me about leadership, mostly through the medium of negative experience.

His team high point came in surreal fashion. Having been informed of our failure to reach targets & thus secure a performance related pay rise, Geoff knew all we really needed was to have a little sing song. Stay with me - it gets better. So Geoff disappears in the lift, only to emerge moments later with a guitar around his neck & a bandana,giving the faint impression of rock stardom to his otherwise follicly challenged pate.

Whilst some of us cynics put our heads in our hands at the back of the department-Amazingly, others found this the perfect outlet for their pay worries, & joined Geoff in lusty renditions of all the Oasis tracks they could remember the words to from the classic 1995 album 'Whats the story morning glory.'Geoff, thanks for the memories!

Today, the insurance world & Ricky Gervais wannabee bosses are light years away. Today, I loved my team day. No ego's, no pride, no Billy Big Boots. No insecurity driven affirmation junkies. Just 12 men & women who really want to see their team deliver the kind of things they used to just dream about.

Hybels talks about the 3 C's of team - character, competence & chemistry. Today, the chemistry clicked, the ideas flowed, the friendship deepened. This is the privilege of serving on a team which, though imperfect, in some way models the way we were designed for mutual dependence on a task which is impossible alone.

Thanks guys for helping me to lose my 'team twitch'. As Geoff would have sung....'I said maybeeeeeeee, you're gonna be the one who saves meeeeee, and after all, you're my wonderwaaaaal........'

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