Not everyone is comfortable with the truth. But, we will not do our best work if don’t say what we mean. Once you get used to having difficult conversations, they become less difficult. Our energy is best spent on going forward and not second-guessing each other or avoiding what needs to be said.
The rarest team to form is the selfless team. It is also the most potent. When a team comes together and decides that all that matters is the central purpose, and every action, every breath, every thought goes to make that happen, and everyone is aligned, then that team can achieve the impossible. It can beat the odds. It can punch way above its weight. Because egos have had to leave the team for the team to be able to play at its absolute maximum.
Teams need to know what change they are going to make in this world. It is fuel for the journey. It is grit. It is passion. It is meaning. It is the belief that there is, or soon will be, a better way to do this.
No vision. No fuel. No fuel. No culture. No culture. No team. No team. No point.
Behind a closed door we can disagree, but we don’t need to be disagreeable. Have each other's back. If you can’t say it to their face, don’t say it behind their back. Challenge each other. But always with the intent to raise standards, to push the mission forward. And not to belittle or crush another team member.
Relentless progress takes a particular kind of mindset. It is in the walls of the building. And the hearts of everyone. It has to turn up each day. The role of the captain is to ensure it never leaves. Our formulas, our assumptions, our ‘we always do it this way’, have to be challenged. If we don’t do it, our rivals will do it on our behalf.
Be hungry for what we don’t know. Now, how can we get better today than we were yesterday?
Respect your words with action. There is a commitment effect. Your word matters.
Say it. Do it.
Every team needs a captain. They are not good at giving speeches or talking to the press. They hide in the shadows. They are awkward, they are rarely the most skilled on the team. But they form the glue. They show what needs to be done. They raise the standards. Management often picks the wrong captain. They choose easy. Easy doesn’t build great.
Never underestimate the power of this question: How can I get better today than I was yesterday? Most people ignore the small things they can do because they don’t offer a big enough result. Instead, they seek to attempt to hit the ball out of the part. Take the big swing. Go for glory. But the power of the incremental gain overtime provides a much better result. The compounding effect of trying to get better by 1% a day is enormous. Compounded it is 3,800% per year. That’s 40 times better than where you started in just one year.
The team looks after its own. If someone is struggling, our job is to help them. Check each other’s work, not to find fault, but to help improve. Give advice. Give your learning away freely. For the team to win, leave no one behind.
Do something that is not a brainstorm. That doesn’t involve a computer or a whiteboard. If there is a problem to solve, then go on a walk. If there is a big problem to solve, then choose a longer walk. At 4 mph, the brain thinks differently.
We have no right to ask you to work more than 40 hours. That is more than enough. One of the perks of working here is we will protect you from dumb meetings. We will provide a space for deep work. We will say no to everything that is not the ‘main thing’. A culture of working longer usually means a lack of focus.
Doing your best work is rarely easy. You will have to push yourself. That can often feel like the opposite of fun. Learning new ways comes with varying degrees of discomfort. On the other hand, comfort zones are often thought of as fun. But that is a place where dreams go to die.
Fun is not a pool table at work. Fun is not M+M’s in reception. Fun is pride. Fun is learning. Fun is doing something you didn’t think that you could. Fun is doing your life’s work. Fun is reaching your potential. To reach the very best of what you are capable of. The team is here to help you do that.
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.