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Teamwork for Breakfast?
Every day, you and the people you work with are enjoying a powerful lesson - because we all have teamwork for breakfast.
You are likely already familiar with one short parable about team commitment.
A coach walks into the locker room, and says he wants a team of people who are committed to success.
“I don’t want people who are just involved.”
“The world,” he continues, “is made up of too many people who stick their toe in the pool and refuse to go ALL IN. To be part of this team, I want you to be totally committed!”
And as an example, he then goes on to describe his breakfast.
“This morning for breakfast,” he says, “I had two eggs and three slices of bacon.”
“Now, that plate was a great example of what I’m talking about! You see, the chicken is just involved. She gives a little bit, but it didn’t really make a huge impact on her life to have given those eggs to my plate. She was involved, but not committed.”
He then looks at the athletes, and finishes his thought-
“But the pig… now he was committed! He went ALL IN!”
I am unsure how accurate a metaphor that is for total team commitment – but I do know that our meals each morning can be a great example of the power of teamwork.
Teamwork requires that we get the contributions of many in order to accomplish something that would be impossible without their resources.
And yes, the eggs and bacon story does seem relevant.
But many of us just eat cereal…
Would you believe that even a simple breakfast of cereal is a terrific illustration of teamwork?
It’s true. Cereal is a result of many contributors sharing diverse talents and resources to accomplish a worthwhile goal.
There are a number of necessary ingredients in whatever cereal you choose. Whether it is Captain Crunch, or Golden Grahams, or Raisin Bran, it takes many different items and contributions to create that particular cereal.
It takes much more than just wheat, corn, and sugar.
The list of ingredients on most boxes is almost overwhelming.
And that dry cereal is a great metaphor for teamwork, because teams are cohesive – they are a collection of diverse personalities and talents that come together for a specific purpose.
But that cereal is not the extent of your breakfast experience.
Most everyone here adds something to the bowl after the cereal is there. You need milk.
Milk is interesting…
Do you ever wonder who it was that first discovered you could drink milk from cows?
Do you ever wonder what they were actually intending to do when they discovered it?
But it is the milk that acts as a very important part of that simple breakfast experience.
Without the milk, your cereal is too dry to enjoy.
Milk softens it, and makes it more palatable... but if you leave the milk there too long, the cereal becomes soggy.
It takes many ingredients to create the cereal. And we need the milk.
But the cereal shouldn’t be left alone with the milk too long, or it becomes almost inedible and icky.
So, who are the ingredients in your "team cereal?"
And who is your milk?
Do you take the time to recognize the importance of each ingredient, and thank them for their contribution?
Teamwork is the coordinated activities of a cohesive group who contribute diverse skills and resources to accomplish a compelling common goal.
Interested in improving the temawork and cohesiveness in your group? Team building offers a fun, safe, non-threatening way to improve communication, teamwork, and leadership skills with the laughter and lessons that interactive group activities provide.
To learn more, just contact me!