How to Win The Three Legged Race in Business
The Three-Legged race – it’s that time of year isn’t it? Have you been at a school sports day recently? Or do you remember your own sports days? Well, I was at my kids sports day today, and it was good to see all the ‘old’ stuff still exists. There is still the ‘Egg and Spoon’ race, Tug of War and of course, the good old Three-Legged race. It’s hilarious for those watching, and sometimes for those playing.
Yes, it’s all good fun …until….someone gets upset.
Why would they get upset? Well, because the other person “isn’t doing it right” or “they’re going too fast”, or too slow. Sometimes they aren’t paying attention because they suddenly see their Mum cheering them on in the crowd and they get out of step. Sometimes one person stops and the other one doesn’t. And the only way to get the rhythm back is by completely stopping and restarting.
You see the three-legged race depends on co-operation and communication. It also involves agreeing a strategy. And watching the participants today, it is clear that those who collaborate well, go faster.
And it made me think. It’s a bit like business really, isn’t it? And teamwork in particular.
Teams who collaborate well, generally ‘go faster’. Everything seems to be so easy and just flows. It’s the difference between a great experience in a restaurant and a poor one, for example. 9 times out of 10, when people aren’t happy in a restaurant, it isn’t about the food (the product) it is about the service – the EXPERIENCE.
And that applies to the team themselves. 9 times out of 10 when someone leaves a team or a business, it isn’t because there is anything wrong with the product the business produces or the ‘company’ itself, it is about the lack of teamwork and leadership. Because the leader is, of course, an integral part of the team.
If the leader explains the vision (to get to the finish line without falling over), and the rules (how to move with ‘3’ legs), and why we are doing it (to have fun), then the outcome is more likely to happen.
If the team then collaborates (one person ties the knot), communicates (if we get out of step we stop and start again) and co-operates (I wanted to tie the knot but I am happy for you to do it, if I can go on the right hand side), then it is much more likely that the goal will be achieved.
If, on the other hand, the team are not clear on what they are supposed to do (one little boy running on his own to the line) then it becomes more difficult to achieve a result. And if the team start to blame each other for ‘failures’ (knots that come undone, falling over etc), then that really prevents focus on the solution.
And we all know where that is going to end. With one party stomping off crying and the other calling names. And I wasn’t referring to the kids!!
Teams can be a tricky dynamic, or they can be the biggest asset the business has. Teams are so crucial to business success (and to winning three-legged races), and that’s why I created the Team Performance Engine ™. Teams that laugh and collaborate, under focused leadership, make a massive difference to your business. If you’d like to know more about the Team Performance Engine and how it can impact on your bottom line get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org