Get ’em tired together…

I remember this like it was yesterday. It was, in fact, way back in the day…

The year was 1995. I was 36 years old and running sales/service for CompuServe and had just started this thing called “Leadership training for Managers.” No clue. We brought in our management team from all around the country for a three day practice (we didn’t call it practice back then – the dreaded meeting instead). The commitment was to follow the military example of three days of leadership training every quarter. Good enough for them, good for us. It was far better than nothing. We had outside facilitators and dinners/sports each night. It was good just having 45 managers hanging together instead of competing/complaining about each other.

After one of the dinners, I had invited Walt Harris (OSU Quarterbacks Coach) to come speak to the team about leadership. He was great. Don’t remember a thing he said, but he was great! After he spoke he took questions for 20 minutes. Somewhere in the middle of the questions, I asked him how he got all these kids, from all over the country, all different kinds of cultures, black/white, rich/poor, north/south, east/west, to become Buckeyes – to become a team. Walt’s response was ccd magic and it’s stuck with me for 22 years. “We get ’em tired together. Once they’re really tired, they’re no longer black/white, rich/poor, they’re just tired. And, they don’t like me, cause I’m the one that made them tired – now they have a common interest too.”

In that moment, it flipped my script on team building. Trust falls were not the thing. Making these leaders work together to solve tough problems – FM, baby. We got the team mentally tired together as they worked into the night getting ready to present something together in front of all their peers the next day. Leaders that had never collaborated because they were from different regions, learned that their way wasn’t the only way. New ideas and friendships were formed in these three day pilgrimages back to Cbus. Good.

Get ’em tired together. Good…

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