Do Your Job
I’m at church on Sunday watching the band play during the opening part of the service and caught myself staring at the drummer. He’s completely engulfed in the beat of the music and flowing effortlessly from drum to drum, all while smiling and seeming to be enjoying every minute of it.
As the song went on, my eyes drifted over to the guitarist. He’s leaning over, possessed by the music he’s creating and fully present with nothing but the song and his guitar.
The music quieted towards the end of the song as the vocalist took over. Same thing. The music all but subsided, leaving only the soloist and her backups to bring the song home. She appeared as if nothing else in the world was going on.
They were each just doing their job.
Why Should We Care?
This is how teams should function.
It’s how the best teams DO function.
I’m sure there are numerous run throughs and conversations prior to each performance. And, I’m sure there is plenty of dialogue from each musician in order for the team to produce the best music possible.
But ... At no point did I see the drummer take-off on his own solo while brushing off the song the band was playing. I didn’t notice the guitarist banging his guitar on the floor because he wasn’t sure the drummer would play the right notes. And, I didn’t catch the backup singers stepping forward and singing so loudly that we couldn’t hear the lead vocalist.
Everyone just did their jobs.
That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just their jobs.
So much of the trouble for teams occurs when we forget, or dismiss, this simple principle.
It’s one of the reasons I despise MVP awards.
We ask all the people to sacrifice for the team, give up their goals for the goals of the group, and to support their teammates and leaders through the good and bad. We talk about how everyone's contribution is critical for the success of the team and how no person’s job, or role, is any more or less important than another’s.
Then we pick one person to be the MVP.
How is this consistent with the message above?
If it’s really supposed to be about the team, then it’s not.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Maintaining perspective as a leader can be difficult. Consistently emphasizing the value in the team should not be. Here are a few ideas on keeping the team at the forefront of your decisions and being intentional about recognizing all contributors.
I like to say “Trust the process”. I think the right process leads to the right outcome most of the time. We can’t control the outcome, but we can control the process. The process always boils down to one thing: doing your job.
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.