20frickin’3…

Today, near downtown Cbus, a team of forager bees gathered together for BTL team practice 203. We had no idea what we were in for. The energy was low when we started but it ended with quite a buzz. So good.

I could write my best prose and paint like Leonardo and you would have no clue – you had to be there to experience it. The owner didn’t talk about getting naked. He opened the kimono and shared his struggle, joy, hopes, and dreams. He got naked! He took on the hard topic like he was falling out of bed, spoke from his heart – like he trusted it. Nothing was scripted and his smile said nothing the team asked was gonna take him off track. He shared his belief about BTL and his business. More compelling, he shared his personal experience with each. The room went from low energy to some kinda natural high before my very eyes. The warmth and sincerity oozed out of him and into anybody with an open mind or heart. So, how did we get there?

We had turned to the communications essential, read one page, and Corie took it from there. She kinda sheepishly spoke the truth about her thinking about being surveyed. Her leader met her where she was and spoke from her heart too. The krazies tuned in and practiced good improv as if on que. Bradlee fired away with questions. Liz flowed through. Jeff, Kristina, Anthony, and others kept it going and away we went. I could write a book about today’s practice 203, it was that good. When Brett was asked what he’s personally working on, he didn’t hesitate – “Putting the words on the wall into action,” he declared with ccd believability. He went on to describe the corporate values and why each one matters, not in theory but in a very personal sense. Felt like some kinda Church service. FM, baby.

We ended with a little lesson on culture from the old outsider – me. I reminded the team of the culture message I repeated over and over and over back in the day when I led in the more normal, corporate world called CompuServe. Everytime I’d get the squad together, I would remind them of the three pillars of our culture. Here they are, for what they’re worth. I mean come on man, these are from back in the 90’s.

1. Honor the past. Great teams tell stories about the early days and connect the team to why we started this craziness and what it means to really be a part of it.
2. Celebrate the present. Great teams celebrate the moment. They don’t wait for the big wins to throw a party, they throw little ones all the time. Who doesn’t love to hear good news. Great teams celebrate small stuff.
3. Build visions for the future. Great teams don’t wait on one person to pave the way. Great teams are forager bees and buzz around looking for something good. When they find it, they don’t hoard it. Instead, they do a “waggle dance” and share the idea. All of us chow down and get better as a result. Great teams create the future.

Honor the past. Celebrate the present. Build visions for the future. Good.

Today we did a little bit of all three and it was good. Here’s the nuance. Great teams honor the past but do NOT live in it. Honor the past. Live in the moment. Create a better future by learning and buzzing about it. What did your team learn this morning? Yeah, I know. Nothing like this. Practice 20frickin3. You can’t understand it without experiencing it. And, you can’t get to 20frickin3 without working through practice after practice after practice.

Good work, team of krazies. Good work, Brett. See you at 204. Good…

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