Day with a Difference – 28-Jan-13

Quote of the day
“Success is not counted by how high you have climbed but by how many people you brought with you.” – Wil Rose

Thought of the day – A team that rows together grows together

The number of crew members aboard any project team may vary, but teamwork is always essential to keep the boat afloat. Yet even when the boat stays above water, without a common direction the rowers will find that they quickly run out of energy and resources. In rowing, success comes from a common effort to reach the finish line, stay on the course, and follow all the right rules. These skills and agreements can only come through practice. Teams work countless hours to develop a common language and pattern of muscle behaviors. In businesses, success also comes from a common effort, but there are no practices. Every day is a different risk and a different opportunity. Dry runs are often lost opportunities, as opposed to crucial first steps. Teamwork has to be built and promoted in more subtle ways. Indeed, at some point every member of the team will likely have to work with their manager, other teams, a finance department, and clients—these interactions are hard to practice. The best practice—in both rowing and in business—is to keep the crew regularly updated on their progress. Whether they’re about to win the month or about to lose the race, improvements can’t happen without having a solid understanding of where you stand. Even more importantly, each crew member needs to feel responsible and take accountability for their contribution to the team.

Direction is just as vital to teamwork. The leader—the coxswain, in rowing—sits at the stern and is responsible for steering the boat. She should know the course better than any of the crew members, and have the benefit of experiencing past successes and failures. The coxswain needs to be able to adapt for the abilities of every member of the team, and manage a pace that’s sustainable over the long haul. Rowers sit with their backs to the front. They can’t see where they’re going. In order to be effective, rowers need to be able to trust the judgments of their leader. Like in business, a shared set of values makes this easier. Is second-place good enough? Are personal-bests victories?

Destruction. On some days, the winds and waters help the boat make progress. At other times, it can feel like the elements are determined to stop you in your tracks. When that happens, adaptation is the only way to survive. Rowers might have to modify their tactics midstream, or even swap roles in order to keep going. Businesses need to be flexible with their strategies, habits, and job roles as well. Every now and then, non-work non-rowing team-building activities can be helpful (Pro tip: If you’re a business, take the team rowing! And if you’re a rowing team, stick everyone in an office and see how long they last!). Both mandatory and optional team building exercises have their pros and cons, so have a conversation with your team before you begin anything too serious. In the end, in rowing, in business, and in life, what’s truly important is that people move in tandem, support one another, and work to find success for everyone. Were everybody to follow their own paths, we would all spin in circles. Worse still, conflicting interests can cause people’s efforts to counteract one another, destroying productivity and generating turmoil. With properly teamwork properly managed and leveraged, any boat can move in any direction at any speed.


Joke of the day
1 Bob Smith, my assistant programmer, can always be found
2 hard at work at his desk. He works independently, without
3 wasting company time talking to colleagues. Bob never
4 thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and always
5 finishes given assignments on time. Often he takes extended
6 measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
7 breaks. Bob is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
8 vanity in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
9 knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Bob can be
10 classed as an asset employee, the type which cannot be
11 dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Bob be
12 promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
13 executed as soon as possible

That idiot was standing over my shoulder while I wrote the report sent to you earlier today. Kindly re-read only the odd numbered lines

Have a great day!


Day with a Difference – 28-Jan-13

One thought on “Day with a Difference – 28-Jan-13

  1. Wow, wonderful blog structure! How lengthy have
    you been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy.
    The total look of your website is great, let alone the content material!

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