Living in the tension…

Every team, to perform at it’s peak, requires a clear vision of where they’re going, honest, immediate feedback, and deep focus in the moment. Everybody’s got to own how they fit in, embrace their role, and move in the same direction. And, every team on this journey toward becoming elite will have an abundance of “tension.”

The vision will be clear to one and hazy to another.  The moment will require multi-tasking and the feedback will lack timeliness. Our roles will change, responsibilities will overlap, and sometimes we’ll feel like round pegs in square holes. Some practices will produce magic and some will simply be stale. Some team members will be on when others are off.  We will assume too much and understand each other too little.  Some members will shut down in these moments of tension and some will explode with anger.  Some will tend toward thinking their way forward at the exclusion of their emotions and some will tend toward feeling and finding their way.  The result will be an abundance of…


Transformational teams have the same amount of conflict as normal, dysfunctional, and transactional ones.  The difference lies in how they see it.  Transformational teams understand that conflict is not the problem.  They embrace it.  Mine for it.  Allow the individuals involved to experience it in different, even conflicting ways. Transformational teams don’t bury it.  They don’t sweep it under the rug.  They deal with it in often clumsy, messy ways. The difference is they deal with.  They learn how to honor their differences and to fight to improve performance, not simply to prove their point.  They do all this with a strong sense of purpose because they know where they’re going. The clarity of their vision guides them and gives a passionate purpose to dealing with their stuff.

And, they are comfortable with the fact they will never be on the same page, never share the exact same vision, never take the journey toward their aim on the exact same highway, never be completely understood by those around them, and never be recognized for all they’ve done. In spite of these differences elite teammates keep showing up.And, they do NOT hold back.  They do not play it safe.  Freedom and honesty  are the default.  Chemistry breaks into these teams in much the same way that buried conflict breaks up most others –In an unexpected moment.  The truth is that both have been building for a long time.  A very long time…

Everyday in this work we call BTL practice, we invest a few good hours with ONE such team.  They embrace the tension together.  They are on the road to peak performance and they are struggling. Chemistry is coming. Chemistry comes mostly through the struggle, when you least expect it. Embrace this, friend. Get your stuff up above board. Deal with it. Stop hiding and hoping it will go away on it’s own. Good..

Are you getting comfortable living in the tension?

Tell me more, my friend.

Tell me more.

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