The second lesson from Lessons From the Geese is on the importance of teamwork: “When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front.”
I can tell you that I used to run for the hills when someone suggested working as a “team” on a project. Teamwork definitely did not mean moving quickly– especially when the team was chosen for you—which is MOST of the time! In that case, it meant to me that one or two people did all the work and the others got the credit.
I just proved that point this week. I am conducting a presentation and need to fill the room. There are 4 of us on the team and 120 people to call to invite. I thought, “Let’s make this a team effort and everyone wins, right?” At the same time my gut feeling was “ugh, here we go again. They will commit, pay lip service to the tasks, and bail at the 11th hour.”
Of course, I know that if this is my thinking, then I will manifest exactly that.
Interestingly, this is a team of folks who are very aware of their thinking, are open and honest in their communication and meet agreements. What a better set up to break my limiting belief! In fact, part of the motivation to make the calls was that they would get money for every registrant they confirmed who signed up for a program. What better incentive, yes? As the deadline loomed, I was getting more and more freaked. They weren’t doing the calls and in fact, their thinking was that these calls were valuable; they would not generate any results, etc. One team member actually lost the list on two difference occasions.
Finally, on the day of the deadline, I begged the question, “Have you done the calls and how many confirmations do we have?” The answers were a resounding “not done.” Sure, enough, I took one whole list back – being very proud that I had been right about teamwork. I made the calls in 1 hour and had several individuals who would be coming. It was not what I had planned especially because I was the one presenting and needed to prepare. In fact, the drag and resistance to working alone on every part of the project was exhausting.
So, part of the lesson is to ensure that you have the right people doing the right tasks on the project. Identifying the skills of your team members is crucial to success and to not staying up half the night to finish the project. If you know their skills, then you can bring them into the project at the right time to get maximum performance. This energy will motivate and lift the entire team to high performance throughout the length of the project.
As a leader the lesson is to engage my team members in such a way that leads them to be willing to accept the help of the others and then to give our help to others as well. So, stay in formation with those headed where you want to go and it is magical.
Just to know, I am personally selecting a few individuals to Dream and be on my team. Are you ready to step up and take the dare to realize your Dream or have you drifted out of formation and found yourself in resistance, not pulling like a championship rowing crew, but rather being solo in an quad scull?