“Dan, what’s the secret in this activity???”
We are one quarter into our 2022 season of team building and leadership development. The Empower Leadership Team has had the pleasure of leading over 55 team building events and leadership development training programs for over 1,600 participants this year – ranging from after school empowerment programs for middle and high school students to corporate team building workshops to pre-season team building programs for athletes to leadership training for student-mentors. An eclectic mix of group types, individual participants, and facilitation styles means that one program is never the same as another. Despite the differences in groups and experiences, there has been a recurring theme in the majority of our programming in 2022 – the quest for the proverbial “magic bullet”.
Is there a “Magic Bullet”? Well, kind of…
“Dan, what’s the secret?” is a question that I have been asked at least 500 times in 2022 (yes, about 10 times per program!), and my answer is always the same, “there is NOT a secret, or shortcut, to be successful in fill-in-the-blank activity”. While there is not a magic bullet that guarantees success with the least amount of effort possible, there are specific actions or behaviors that can expedite the process!
Get a G.R.I.P. on your Winning Process
I am a firm believer in “process over product” – meaning that in order to ensure the best possible product, or result, we need to DOMINATE the process. Results are never guaranteed; however, we can guarantee what we put into our process. The G.R.I.P. Model, standing for Goal clarity, Role clarity, Interactions defined, and Process defined, is the way we help individuals and teams overcome the urge to seek out the “magic bullet” and focus instead on dominating their process!
Develop Your Winning Process
Leadership of Self: Be your best! The Winning Process requires each individual to hold her/himself accountable to set standards while dedicating 100% of their energy and focus to the task at hand. Anything less will lead to subpar results.
Leadership of Others: Help others be their best! The Winning Process requires each individual to hold teammates accountable to set standards while doing and saying that which will support, and bring out the best, in all team members.
Goal Clarity: Understand the vision! The Winning Process requires individuals/teams to have a clear understanding of (1) what they are trying to accomplish, (2) what resources are available to them, and (3) what the “working parameters” are (expectations, rules, etc.). You are either focused on these details or you are a distraction – there are no distractions in the Winning Process!
Role Clarity: Not one piece of a puzzle is less important than another! The Winning Process involves all team members because the strength of any team is in how committed each individual is to performing their role. If everyone (1) knows what their job is, (2) understands the expectations for their job, and (3) commits all of their energy and focus to doing their job, the team wins!
Interactions Defined: Communication is the linchpin to team success! Share information with focus and intentionality – if what you are saying, and how you are saying it, resonates with you but not with your teammates, you are not communicating effectively. Be honest, be direct, be clear, and always check for understanding! Communication is a “two-way street” – if someone is sending/sharing information, someone else is receiving it. When on the receiving end, be engaged, both with your mind and body language, and ask for clarification if you are even just a bit unsure of the information you are receiving!
Process Defined: A goal is only as good as the plan to achieve it! Make sure you and your teammates find the “sweet spot” between “wingin’ it” (we can’t rely on luck) and “paralysis by analysis” (if we never start, we’ll never make progress). Develop a plan and put it in motion – the initial plan may not be perfect, but it will allow us to evaluate and refine until we complete the task at hand!
Keep/Stop/Start: We introduced the “Keep/Stop/Start” Method in an article on March 28th. The Keep/Stop/Start Method is all about improving/achieving through evaluation and refinement. This tool helps us identify three key elements in the evaluation and refinement process: (1) what is working, (2) what is holding us back, and (3) what are we going to do about it! Utilizing the Keep/Stop/Start tool to evaluate and refine what you are doing ensures that every repetition we execute is productive!
Winning is Not a Result, IT IS A PROCESS
We cannot control the results; however, we CAN control what we do and how we do it during the journey from start to finish line. Success is inevitable when we have a winning process – we will either achieve what we set out to achieve or we will become a better person/team during the journey!