Monthly Archives: October 2003

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Leading by Serving – Deep Team Building

Often when I explain how things work at the Edge to folks inquiring about team building over the phone, I can hear the sound of eyebrows being raised as the person I am speaking with tries to understand the value of . . . doing your own dishes while they are here for a team building retreat.

After all, our team building services are not cheap. So in addition to the incredible team building experiences we offer, why shouldn’t we have their plates cleared for them so that they can get on with the business of their team building retreat.

It’s not easy stepping into the role of service, particularly for executives who spend much of their time in a traditional hierarchical business structure.

Service and caring for the team is the essence of true team building. By having empathy for those we work with, we motivate and inspire each other to be the best people we can be. . . achieving and overachieving as a team. It can be easy to demonstrate such behaviours when we’re out for a day of team building adventure, or doing some dreaming together and creating business strategy plans.

But when the work has been done, and a wonderful team meal has been enjoyed, what happens when empty plates litter the table is more telling of the true potential of any team we work with.

Clearing the table of plates of team members, washing them by hand, drying and placing them on the counter for the next meal is a uniqueteam building opportunity that isn’t available in traditional settings.

The conversations about personal and team business objectives carries much more weight when we can demonstrate in the simplest everyday actions that we care for the well-being of one another. This is the essence of a team building towards something greater than individual success.

Just think about it: Where are there untapped opportunities to serve your team members?

Just do it:Take opportunities to do things outside of the traditional power structure norms if it fits with the culture of your organization for true deep team building.

Seeing in Panoramic Format

They call those pictures with a wide angle – Panoramic Images. Movie screens are designed in letterbox format. These wide angle views are more pleasing to most people. Some people get distracted by what isn’t there (You know the black bar on top and bottom of the tv screen). I can often get distracted by what isn’t there, often avoiding opportunities to be in the moment. Just think about it: What horizontal bars are keeping me from really engaging today? Maybe if I set aside time and attention to the black bars early in the day, I’ll become blissfully unaware that they are there for the remainder of the day, much like what happens when enjoying a letterbox movie.

I enjoy creating panoramic images by taking more than one picture and stitching them together being careful to find the natural places they overlap.Together these images can have a very pleasing wide horizontal view of a much larger area and show the big picture. Can you see where this picture of our lodge was stitched together?

When I stitch the photos together, there is a certain level of overlap. It’s that way with the skills and abilities of the people I work with every day. Seen as distinct separate photographs, they can be cropped into nice images, but by piecing the elements together and making use of the overlap between the skills of the people I work with can create a grand image, something, far beyond what is possible by myself. How can I make better use of the skills, talents, unique features of those around me to create grand panoramic images?

What types of skills, talents, and abilities are around me waiting to be stitched into a grander vision? Maybe they are not even within my organization. Is there a way to co-operate to create something bigger and better that what two or more organizations can accomplish on their own? Partnerships can have mutual benefit! How can I use others to enhance the quality of my products or services?

Just do it: Make a list of 5 great skills and abilities lurking your community, and spend 10 minutes thinking about how to put them to better use in panoramic format.