I found myself over the weekend sitting down with my son and watching a
program on the US Navy and the "Blue Angels" flight squadron. Jet
fighter planes, flying within feet of each other in formation one
minute, then upside down a few feet from the ground the next. Pilots
flying straight at each other, at great speeds then at the last moment,
just pulling away. Unbelievable
As we watched the footage it became very apparent that all things that are necessary for effective teamwork were very much evident in everything that these pilots and their squadron does. My son although very interested could not quite get what the significance or magnitude of this standard of teamwork was.Now this discussion proved to be very timely. As it had only been that day as he and his fellow band mates had been practising for an upcoming school musical performance. During the rehearsal it had become fairly obvious that there weremixed feelings with in the band as to how right they should get each song before they moved onto the next.So as we sat there watching the "Blue Angels" do their stuff and continued our discussion on what had happened that day at band rehearsal. I asked him this question; "If you guys don't practise well or often enough and go to the school musical performance under prepared what happens?" His reply was something like "We either fluke it and get it right on the day or we are pretty bad and we get embarrassed?""How bad would that be?" "Well it is not something that we want to happen." And that was my point exactly to him, no-one ever wants to fail, no-one ever wants to be embarrassed by their performance. But is the significance of what you are pursuing enough to get you to do the things that are required so that you do not fail or become embarrassed.As our discussion continued I pointed out to him that if the band doesn't practise enough, doesn't work together enough, doesn't communicate well enough, and the standards that you set for each other when you rehearse are not high enough, then what will happen come performance day? Basically summed up my sons response was "We don't play well, we get embarrassed and become the brunt of many a school jibe or joke." Not that bad I suppose but when you are 15 this is definitely not something you want to happen.I then asked him to think about this. All of a sudden he and his mates are not in a band but in the "Blue Angels". They take the same attitude they have with their musical rehearsals into the cockpit of one of these fighter jets and then into the sky as they go through their practise routines. What happens", I ask? "What do you mean" he replies. "Think about the bands attitude to getting things right in rehearsal and what would happen if you took that attitude to the drills and practise sessions and show days of the Blue Angels" I ask. "Chances are we would probably either crash into each other or into the ground, but its completely different" he pleads. Is it? "We are group of school kids playing in a band at a school musical. How does that compare with what the "Blue Angels" do?"Now we get to where it is I wanted him to be. As in some cases there is no comparison between the band and the "Blue Angels" but in other cases there are lots of similarities. This is the same for all teams or groups of people working toward a common outcome.The ultimate success you get will be determined by how significant the outcome you are trying to achieve is in the minds of those that are pursuing it and what are the ramifications of non-completion of this success?If you fail to achieve you’re desired result and you can walk away knowing that you did everything possible to achieve what you were pursuing then you could be OK, depending on the ramifications in other ways from this lack of achievement. Then in other cases such as the "Blue Angels", failure is not an option as the ramifications of failure is huge.I don't know the "Blue Angels" or anyone associated with them but I would take a gamble and say that their motivation is not fear of failure but more along the lines that they would want their performances to be a true reflection of the time, effort and knowledge that has gone into hours upon hours of practise and more importantly a true reflection of what the Blue Angels are about and what it is they stand for.So where are you or your team? Are you part of a group that are keen to accomplish the outcomes that you are pursuing, but not to the point where it means enough to motivate you to do what needs to be done to try and assure that your desired outcomes will be reached?Or are you part of a team like the "Blue Angels" where although the outcomes maybe different failure is not an option. You want the results that you pursue to happen
, you demand a standard of not only yourself but also those around you. Your success although not assured is quite likely simply because of the time effort and standards you have put in place.I suppose in the end it comes down to how much what you are trying to achieve really means to you and your team. Therefore you and the team are the only ones who can answer that question?© 2008 Total Performance Concepts Pty LtdFor More Information Visit www.totalperformance.com.au Or Email us email@example.com.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bill Nelson is an elite international sporting coach who has turned his knowledge of developing peak team and individual performance into a world-class corporate consultancy, Total Performance Concepts Pty Ltd.Bill’s wisdom of the science of motivation, performance coaching, team building and the development of organisational culture has been utilised by business organisations, defence forces, educational institutions, local government, and elite sporting programs throughout the world.