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Connection, Vitality, Edge, Purpose and Impact
Welcome again to our campfire community – a place for like minded souls to draw up a seat and warm your feet – thanks for coming.
This month we are excited to introduce you to a new Living Teams model to capture the 5 elements of what truly brings life to teams – more of that later.
And then our resident muse (and artist) Andy Denne reminds us all how vital it is to take holidays, especially in current times.
If you have worked with us, you will know that team conversations are at the heart of the work we do – because the quality of those conversations has such a huge impact on the quality of…well, read the article and you’ll find out.
Some people have asked us to explain the “Hero’s Journey” so that’s exactly what we are doing this month – hope you find it useful.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a campfire without some music so enjoy this month’s holiday related music choice.
Throw another log on the fire, grab yourself a drink and lets’ see what magic and mischief we can create together.
Tony, Andy and Pippa
We bring life to teams – but how?
The four elements of western culture are: EARTH, AIR, FIRE, and WATER. These four elements are believed to be essential to life.
We asked ourselves, what are the elements essential to a healthy life in teams?
And we came up with these 5 elements
Connection, Vitality, Edge, Purpose and Impact.
Let’s look at how each of these elements brings life to teams.
Connection is the lifeblood; the source of energy; it creates a sense of belonging.
Connection is fundamental to the aliveness and vitality of the team.
Without connection, the team is not a team.
How connected is your team on a scale of 1 – 10?
You can’t start anything with a dead battery – it’s vital to have vitality in a team!
Good alive energy fuels performance through good times and bad – without it – the team burns out and dies.
How vital is your team on a scale of 1 – 10?
“Come to the edge” he said.
“We can’t we’re afraid” they said
If you don’t know the rest of this wonderful short poem, google it!
Teams need to get edgy and learn to embrace fear if they are to truly fly.
“How willing to embrace the fear (edge) is your team on a scale of 1 – 10?
There’s really no point in jumping off a cliff and risking everything if you don’t have a purpose worth ‘flying’ for.
Purpose gives meaning; it’s the why not the what.
Purpose is a great reason to get out of bed on a cold, wet winter’s morning.
It’s the buzz of adrenaline that keeps you awake at night.
“How on purpose is your team on a scale of 1 – 10?
Unless your team has impact, you might as well stay in bed!
Imagine how impactful your team will be when it is more connected, more vital, more edgy and more purposeful?
Imagine the impact they will have on the rest of the business?
How impactful is your team on a scale of 1 -10?
It’s by paying attention to these 5 elements that we breathe life into the teams we work with – it’s not easy; it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes discipline, commitment and courage.
We’ll be here when you’re ready.
Andy’s Insights – it’s vital you take your holidays
Taking your holiday is both an act of leadership and a strategic imperative. What culture of holiday taking do you create on your teams?
We know one thing about the future of the next 8-10 weeks. We know for many around the world – in thousands of teams – we know that the next 8-10 weeks is holiday season. Different countries at different times. Some folks tied to the holiday rhythms of their kids’ schools, some folks able to have a holiday outside of “peak” season.
You, as a team leader want to grow your team’s impact. You want to grow your business. You want to grow your positive contribution to society.
Where does growth originate? What is the prime mover of growth? What fuels growth in the first place?
Human energy, insight and agility are the prime movers of growth in people and organisations.
The quality of human energy available on your teams is determined by the quality of disciplines for recharging and renewing.
The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg (hālig “holy” + dæg “day”). Holy days refer often to spiritual traditions. What if they also can remind us to pursue “wholeness”. To spend time becoming “whole” again. Whole, healed, complete.
There are 3 CORE points:
1) Holidays are essential for our well-being.
I believe holidays are moments where we can re-charge, re-connect to what’s important to us, to help bring balance and wholeness to life. Without them our vitality/life force is diminished.
2) You must as a team leader help your people to truly switch off.
To create a team structure that really helps each other switch off from the pressures of work and enjoy holidays fully you must put a spotlight upon the fears that run people:
Fear of giving power away to others
Fear of missing out
Fear of looking foolish
Fear of an overwhelming email in box
Fear of being rejected
Fear of not looking “strong” enough…etc
The list goes on….
What are the fears that stop people really, truly, madly, deeply, lovingly, courageously switch off?
Do you as a leader have rich, decisive, courageous conversations on your teams about these dynamics? Or are you too scared?
If you can get (1) and (2) right – you get to unwrap the gift of point (3).
3) Our Well-being is all about energy.
Holidays are a resource to recharge us. And we must all re-charge if we are to play our best game. What are you re-charging? Energy. Human energy.
If you or your people are on holiday constantly “checking in” with work – you are not creating the reserves of energy you will need to be effective.
Happiness is a fuel. You build happiness from spending quality time with the people you most love.
What is the quality of your energy you give to your loved ones – partners, children, friends, family.
Nature is fuel. Put your bare feet in that cold stream. Run with joy into that refreshing sea. Listen with all your senses to the smells, sounds and life the forest. Let nature touch you. She will recharge you.
We are all travellers on this path into the future together. Never forget, that the same group of people, with the same resources, create radically different outcomes depending upon their inner condition.
As you enter the holiday season – amplify your curiosity, compassion, and courage for everyone in your teams.
Own this leadership stance:
· Holidays are essential for our well-being.
· You must help your people switch off.
· Its all about energy – enjoy how nature and time with loved ones re-charges you.
As Mahatma Gandhi counselled: « There is more to life than simply increasing its speed”.
Constructive conversations tick all the elements – connection, vitality, edge, purpose and impact.
So how come we don’t have more of them?
In this video, Julia shares some great tips on how to engage in conversations that truly embrace diverse opinions.
Having a good conversation, any kind of conversation, takes time and that’s our number one excuse for not having them.
It takes time to want to hear someone else’s opinion, it take even more time to understand it, especially if it’s not one you instantly agree with.
And of course none of this is news to you – you know that.
That’s the problem.
Not enough time.
We also know that sometimes we have to slow down to make real progress in life…having our foot on the gas all the time is not only exhausting, it also means you miss so much along the way, all that diversity.
Next time someone shares a crazy idea with you and you don’t have time to stop and get curious – try Julia’s super cool question.
“What can you share with me that will help me see what you see?”
It might be time very well spent.
Who knows what you will find out?
Try it and let us know what you discover.
The Hero’s Journey – what is it and what has it got to do with me?
If you’ve been following our newsletters, you’ll know that we have been running a feature on The Hero’s Journey – or more specifically the hero’s journeys of some of our Living Teams coaches. But what is it?
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say.
In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero’s journey, or the mono-myth, is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.
And what if we are all heroes – in our own lives?
We’re all on an adventure aren’t we?
Inevitably we will all face crisis moments in our lives.
Moments that will transform us and make us who we are.
Joseph Campbell (credited with popularising The Hero’s Journey) said that “the privilege of a lifetime is being yourself”
If you’re curious about finding yourself and the hero in your journey, watch this movie “Finding Joe”
It might be a bit woo woo for you – but hang in there and the gold will be revealed!
Living Teams Rock Moments
We’re all going on a Summer holiday!
Sometimes you just have to pick the low hanging fruit!
This is a classic early ‘rock’ moment with the UK’s answer to Elvis. Pop songs were short in those days, this one’s 2’16” so press play, turn the sound up, sing along and get packing for your summer holiday.
“We rise by lifting others”
Robert Green Ingersoll was an American lawyer, writer, and orator during the Golden Age of Free Thought, who campaigned in defense of agnosticism
Thanks for joining us around the campfire.
We’d love to think that your visit has touched many of those 5 elements that bring life to teams – connection, vitality, edge, purpose and impact.
These are interesting times (not the British kind of interesting).
Let’s make time for lively conversations and holidays!
Talking of which, our little team will be taking August off to recharge – got to walk the talk!
We’ll be here in July though.
In the meantime, let’s see what emerges from the future as we take the next steps on our collective Hero’s Journey.
Tony, Andy and Pip