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For More Dependability, Ask Your Team to “Hold the Rope”

123514-matte-red-and-white-square-icon-people-things-hand-glovesIf you want your team to demonstrate more dependability and leadership, then ask them to “hold the rope”

Coach Jeff Tedford has the most wins in the history of the California bears Football Program.

He is known by many of his peers and players as “The Rope Guy.”

He asks his athletes to imagine they are hanging over the side of a cliff, 500 feet high, and the only thing keeping them from falling to their death is the rope that they are holding onto.


The next question he asks his team is powerful.

Tedford, to inspire his team to think about who they trust and who they know is invested and dependable, asks his players to write down the name of the ONE person in the program that they want to be at the top of the cliff and “hold the rope.”

But the lesson, as insightful as it is in acting as a catalyst for teammates beginning to recognize and value the importance of team trust and dependability and commitment, does not end there.

After Tedford has them write down the name of the one athlete on the team that the individual most trusts to hold the rope for him, the second question turns the tables somewhat.

Tedford next asks his team, if they were at the top of the cliff, who is the one player they most want to be at the other end.  He has them write down the name of who they want to hold the rope for…

And so the exercise moves from being a short way to inspire his team to value and trust in the commitment of their teammates and become trustworthy themselves to being a more impressive seed for emphasizing how important it is to help and serve others.

It would be a powerful activity to have your team, no matter what field or organization we are in, to thank the person whose name was the answer to question one.

And even more importantly, I think it would be amazing and productive to have each person contact and extend a hand of service and offer of advice and assistance to the person whose name was the answer to question two.

If you can teach and inspire your team to value and emulate trust and commitment, and if you can inspire your team to be servant leaders and seek to lift up or assist their teammates, then you will enjoy an impressive journey and impressive success in any organization.

So whose name from your team would you answer for questions one and two?

Remember that nothing great will happen until those in leadership decide to “hold the rope” as an example for their team and staff to emulate first…


If you enjoy the content on this blog, I would greatly appreciate you taking the time to recommend it to your friends – and if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to follow me on twitter and to connect on Facebook for additional information, quotes, and teamwork resources!


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Daniel Anthony
Daniel Anthony
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Daniel Anthony Thursday, 30 August 2012

It is best to delegate and ask you team to be in in charge. Good way of delegation

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