Dream Teams are a beguiling idea. Assemble a team made up of the very best brains and success will be assured, right.......? All too often: No, not really.
Hmmm.... I think Rob's post is spot on as it relates to the ups and downs of putting several super talented people together on a team.
What's gnawing at me is that I would not have defined DREAM TEAM in the way Fortune did. To me, a dream team is one where the chemistry and relationship amongst the team members is so good that they ROCK together. Sure, it is important that they are all talented, but they don't each have to be the #1 player of their functional game.
Let's face it, Seattle is not known for its sports teams lately. But in 2001 the Mariners won an unheard of 116 games. Why - many say it was a team dynamic. They together rocked. Of course, they lost the big dance - the team did not rock on that day.
I think dream team is a state - and a team can go in and out of dreaminess. The same individuals can rock together one day and not on the next.
I am not saying that all teams can be dream teams - there is some chemistry involved. I was a member of a small dream team while at Black & Decker in the late 80s. My manager (the Director of HR), my peer (the HR manager) and I (training manager) were a powerful triad of results. Together we rocked. Our styles clicked and encouraged the very best from one another. To this day, I compare all work experiences to this one. We were so successful that we all got promoted. Dream team gone.
Which are you trying to create - a dream team (my definition) or a collection of dreamboats who compete against one another or pass in the night? I believe hiring for fit - for the potential of high chemistry and relationship - is so important. I wrote about that recently here.
I hope to one day be a member of a dream team again. It's a blast - a rush - and very fulfilling. I also think it is pretty rare. If you are a member of a dream team (my definition) show your appreciation and enjoy the time together.
Breakthroughs for you, breakthroughs for me, and breakthroughs for those who we touch. Breakthroughs for the world.
While in New Zealand, I came in contact with one of nature's most beautiful fractals - the fiddle-head. In overly simple terms, a fractal is a shape that continues itself whether you zoom in or zoom out. I love fractals.
The fiddle-head is the sprout of a fern leaf.
This curly wonder is the
inspiration behind the Maori (New Zealand indigineous people) symbol called the Koru. The Koru
symbolizes new growth, beginnings, harmony, and peace.
symbol that makes up my website logo, too. And this is somewhat by serendipity. I have always loved spirals and their fractal nature, so I asked my graphic artist to work up logos using a spiral. I never consciously thought of the fiddle-head or meaning of the koru, though - until my trip to New Zealand. My logo was everywhere (and in basically the same color)!
So it is with this symbol of new beginnings that I declare 2007 the year of the breakthrough. This ties into my personal genius, which is catalyzing breakthroughs (Dick, I know you don't think this is my fully baked genius, but I am still here at the moment). This focus also ties into my mission to help managers and leaders produce amazing results and build great companies. How I will punctuate the year of breakthroughs:
I have reopened the Two Weeks to a Breakthrough blog (this post is being posted both places). Several of you were disappointed when I put it on the shelf (thanks for that). Also, after what seems like an eternity, the book is finally coming out at the end of February. Looking back at why I shut down the blog, I think I needed a break from that and now I am ready to play full out again. Promise: I am going to go deep on this blog.Request: Put the Two Weeks blog in your aggregator or subscribe to it's feed. Thanks!
I will be asking all my podcast guests about the breakthroughs they wish to generate and how they will do that (I don't really intend to prep them about this, I will just launch into a mini coaching conversation after the main topic is discussed).
I will be focusing on writing more provocative posts that have the potential to catalyze breakthroughs.
I will challenge myself to think bigger and bolder - my thoughts have been a bit small recently.
And many other projects that I have not yet conceived. Feel free to share your ideas!
Join me in embracing breakthrough generation in 2007 (or what's left of 2006 - no time like the present!). Define a breakthrough goal for January. What could happen in January that would make a big positive difference to your life and to others with whom you interact?
One personal breakthrough I hope to acheive aside from my work in business arena is to develop a more successful (emphasis on quality) creative writing practice. To that end, I started a new blog called Essay a Smile. If you enjoy essays or poems or posts about writing, check it out.
Now 7 days until 2007. As I mentioned a couple days ago, I am going to focus on my daily approach to work and
life instead of setting end goal resolutions. I do have goals, for sure, but for the new year, I am thinking about approach.
As a reminder, here's how I set this up in the first post: In each action we take or situation, we can ADD, SUBTRACT, or have a
minimal impact. For ourselves and for others. I think it would be
useful to think about moving the overall life needle further into the
ADD column. This can apply to anything.
Today I will focus on writing about connections with people. As manager, leaders, consultants, coaches, or just people trying to get things done, we need to cultivate each and every exchange we have with people.
Each conversation either ADDS, SUBTRACTS from the relationship or leaves it unchanged. Even the small hallway greetings and the lunch room how-dee-doos. Covey had a name for this, he called it the emotional bank account.
When I think about the situations that most often subtract, one word comes to mind: CONTROL. When we seek control over another person, we sap energy and collaboration right out of the relationship. Even when our intentions are good, control is evil juice for connections.
And really, we can't control people anyway, so why try?
But we do. I often do. As I have written many times, I am a recovering control freak and I recognize that when I let my controlling instincts kick in, I generally subtract from the relationship.
Chip, chip, chipping away. A little at a time. It might take years before things fall apart, but that does not matter because in the mean time, the relationship has not lived up to its potential.
To add to the relationship, I need to be in a mindset of contribution and service. I need to appreciate people more fully and see their amazing uniqueness. I need to listen more fully and show a genuine interest in others. This shift is huge and creates a positive energy that ADDS to the relationship.
So that's something important to focus on - adding to the relationship with every conversation.
I would like to recognize a few places that I would recommend to others traveling to New Zealand. These are just a few of the places we stopped and they are, in my mind, the best of the best (this does not mean fancy, by the way).
Bethell's Beach Cottages - Near Auckland and right on the Tasman Sea. Trude and John are great. Trude's family has been in this area for generations (she is a Bethell). Spend a bit more to get the large cottage that faces right out onto the sea - it's amazing.
Okarito Kiwi Tours - Ian takes people out into the woods at night to search for kiwi birds in their natural habitat. Seeing a kiwi in the wild is very rare. They are endangered and the Okarito Brown Kiwi is the most endangered subspecies (only 250). But Ian knows their territory and is the only one with a concession from the government to take people into kiwi territory. It's a great experience (nice night skies, too). We saw one male kiwi named CC - 15 years old. Did you know kiwi can live or 50 years?
Sea Kayaking Marlborough Sounds - We did a three day kayak trip that included a stay at Lochmara lodge (see below). It was a highlight of our trip and this company had real nice kayaks.
Lochmara Lodge - This place is really cool. You can only get these by boat (kayak) or by foot. We stayed there two night in conjunction with our three day kayaking. The lodge is on Queen Charlotte Sound, which is one of the Marlborough Sounds. There are several nice hikes and it's a real nature lover's experience (but the rooms are very nice and modern).
The Springs Bed & Breakfast - This is the place we stayed in Rotorua. The couple that own The Springs does a great job at thinking of everything. The rooms are very well equipped. The full hot breakfast is wonderful and we loved sipping sherry in the evenings in the large sitting room. Each room includes a book with restaurant and tour recommendations.
Franz Josef Helihike - We took a helicopter up to the Franz Josef Glacier then hiked around with a guide. It was a bit challenging, but very fun.
Holiday Inn Crown Plaza - Queenstown - I don't generally like staying in US chain hotels when abroad, but the HICR has simply the best view and is right in the heart of Queenstown. You can walk to everything. Ask for a room overlooking the lake. While in Queenstown, we ate at the Wai, which was very good (get the spaghetti and meatballs appetizer - trust me, it is very unique and tasty, as are their oysters).
Bill enjoyed trying the Possum Pie at Pete's. This place was very amusing. Kiwis are quick to point out that their possums are nothing like those found in the US. They are soft and furry and good eatin'.
The George - Christchurch - This boutique hotel was very nice and the restaurant (Pescatore) was tops. They offer free internet on two lobby computers and a nice atmosphere to relax. The hotel is situated on the Hagley Park (a nice park to walk in) and a few blocks from the center of town. The service was excellent throughout our stay.
While in NZ we got turned onto Icebreaker - merino wool active wear. simply the best. A bit expensive, but they apparently last a long time. Super fast drying and odor resistant. They have a US distributer and you can oder online.
Market share: Christianity holds a leadership position with two billion consumers, but you’re losing share to competitors such as Hinduism and startups like Wicca. To boost Christian population, encourage holiday alcohol consumption. See also: eggnog energy drink.
And I love what Ikea has done in London for their employees (9000 of them) for Christmas - given them all bikes! Ikea is encouraging people to take bikes to work. Super.
10 days until 2007 is here. Instead of concrete goals like "sell 84 million books," I am going to focus on my daily approach to work and life.
In each action we take or situation, we can ADD, SUBTRACT, or have a minimal impact. For ourselves and for others. I think it would be useful to think about moving the overall life needle further into the ADD column. This can apply to anything.
Today I will focus on writing about transportation. In 2007, I would like to make more daily transportation choices that either ADD to preserving the planet or have a minimal impact. This means adopting the method of transport that has the lowest emissions. Walking or biking more, then public transport (tough one for me, I hate the bus) or my motorcycle, then the car. It also means batching car trips to reduce time on the road - doing coffee shop meetings on one day of the week instead of three. And doing business over the internet when possible versus hopping on a plane. And our next car will definitely be a hybrid (honestly, for the vast majority of people, buying an SUV or heavy gas guzzling car is simply irresponsible). Anything less than 40 MPH is not good enough (higher is even better). I am also keeping an eye out for a decent electric or hybrid motorcycle - several companies are working on them.
I will also be cognizant of the trips I cause others to make and reduce those when possible.
And I will not be afraid to encourage others to do the same. I intend to write my congresswoman to suggest they get rid of the business tax write off for vehicles over 6000 pounds (except for farmers or businesses that legitimately need trucks). Most of the people I know who have bought big SUVs to get the tax cut don't need an SUV at all.
Bill and I have a 2000 Kia Sportage - a small SUV - right now. We like to have it for big Costco runs and the odd adventure into the woods. We talked about what it would feel like to be without it and decided that's the right thing to do. We can rent an SUV a couple times a year when we need one. So the Kia will eventually be traded in on a Prius. I'm selling my Saab Convertible, too. We think we can get by with one car and one motorcycle, 4 feet, 2 bikes, 2 kayaks, 1 row boat, and 4 pulling dogs. This is not about money - we think it's just the right thing to do.
I want to feel good about my approach to greenhouse gas production from transportation.
ADD SUBTRACT Neutral
T minus 10 days to 2007. I will share other topics of approach over the next 9 days.