Today’s world is interesting. Protests world wide. Some effecting change others being suppressed. The reasons vary for these protests. In the Middle East, protestors want what we have… the freedom to choose our leaders. Here in the States the protests seem to be revolved around complaining about the leaders we elected not doing what we wanted them to do or not including us in their decisions.
Back on August 26, 2002 I wrote a journal that expressed our dissatisfaction. It is appropriate to again remind ourselves that change is very difficult. And sometimes we are fooled that it happened… when it didn’t. The TeamTacks™ Journal from 2002 follows.
Have you felt some skepticism lately when reading the TeamTacks™ Journal? With the scandals of Enron and WorldCom fresh in your mind, how can you not be skeptical and perhaps cynical of teamwork? If your reality is meshed within the corporate mindset Dilbert style, teamwork is only something you read about periodically in the TTJ or trade publications. Maybe in school there was mention of teamwork in a middle management class and even then it just didn’t quite seem to match reality.
Usually quotes are reserved for the final words in the TTJ but the following recent quote needs to be kept fresh in our memory when we have doubts that teamwork really exists.
“Everybody had strong moments. At any certain time maybe one guy got down, and then the rest pulled together and then that guy would get back up and maybe somebody else would feel a little weaker. But it was a team effort. That’s the only way it could’ve been.”
Blaine Mayhugh, one of the nine miners trapped 240 feet underground in a flooded mine for three days, rescued 7/28/02.
Though not directly referred to in Blaine’s quote, the team on top, having the same purpose and vision as the men trapped below, acted with the same conviction and power.
Do you see how in a crisis situation the principles and methods of TeamTacks™ is a natural process? Obviously everyone involved in this rescue had the same purpose (to get to the trapped miners quickly) and vision (seeing the trapped miners come out of the mine alive). But this rescue was successful because of the action taken, which is defined in TeamTacks™ as practice (change, commit, communicate). All concerned identified and committed to what needed to be done. First getting fresh air and heat to the trapped miners, then while drilling an escape route, they continually communicated the status and progress. When the unexpected happened (the drill bit was damaged) it was immediately known and an alternative action was taken. Great teamwork in this situation!
Our most tremendous challenges are met with us working together. The mine rescue is a good example and an even greater example is the effort in New York last September. Teamwork is not a word to induce investment or a method to have employees give a greater effort by working longer hours and perhaps for less pay. Team definitely loses meaning when layoffs are prevalent and executives are awarding themselves bonuses. So what should be done? Can teamwork be practical in an every day situation? What can we do to effect the change to make things better?
One thing you can’t do is to give in to the tendency to say “nothing”. By the mere fact that you’re on the mailing list of the TTJ, you are in some alignment with the principals of TeamTacks™. So be confident that this method works as well from bottom to top as from top to bottom.
Specifically, if your team leader does not offer a real purpose and vision and doesn’t require practicing the three C’s (Change, Commit, Communicate) then it is your responsibility to ask for it… to demand it! Corporate executives don’t start out corrupt. It happens slowly by giving in to the “it’s good for me” way of thinking without consideration for the rest of the team. By not knowing or not being willing to demand what our leaders should provide, this thinking is reinforced by us. And too many times, we succumb to “that” way of thinking.
Are you ready? Are you ready to say enough is enough? I am. Want to join me?
About 40 years ago, as a young man I subscribed to The Congressional Record as a way to keep up with our elected representatives. Today I enjoy the transparency (http://www.whitehouse.gov/) our first minority president offers us. I don’t always agree with what is presented but there is comfort in feeling that the administration is doing the best that can be done to do the right thing.
Is it time for America to be what we want it to be for our children and grandchildren? So again I implore you… join me. Join me to say enough is enough.
Final words — from 2002
“Within us all there are wells of thought and dynamos of energy which are not suspected until emergencies arise. Then oftentimes we find that it is comparatively simple to double or triple our former capacities and to amaze ourselves by the results achieved.”
Thomas J. Watson (18??-1956, American Businessman, Founder of IBM)
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
Helen Keller (1880-1968, American Blind/Deaf Author, Lecturer, Amorist)
“The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.”
Cus D’Amato (American Boxing Traine