Sabotage. Good…

Yesterday, during practice 47 with a team that’s coming together, we covered a lot of ground in 90 good minutes. We let the team decide where they wanted to go for the first ten minutes and then I grabbed the reins. You see, this team is changing direction a bit and even though this is good, it’s also disruptive, disconcerting, and downright chaotic. Remember, leader, humans love the status quo. Your job is to create it (status quo) and then purposely disrupt it. Growth is the good to great disruptor and, oftentimes, so is sabotage.

So, yesterday, as we wound down a very real practice (never easy to do), I reminded the team of one of the greatest saboteurs in American history – Benedict Arnold. George Washingtons top general had the reins at West Point, a very strategic position on the Hudson, and access to all kinds of intelligence. He betrayed his leader and country in one of our darkest hours. Benedict sold us out and it appeared to be a death blow. It was.

You see, when Benedict sabatoged the American Colonial cause, we were losing the war and having one heck of a time getting new recruits and keeping unpaid warriors. Benedicts leaving backfired. Instead of a death blow it became a call to action, a rallying point, and the catalyst for our cause. The tide turned our way. Oftentimes sabotage produces this kinda unintended consequence. Study history, you’ll see.

So next time somebody betrays you or wrecks havoc on your system by an act of sabotage. Don’t freak or fret. Remember history and stay calm. Do not freeze. This is the enemy. Act. Step into the fear. Speak truth to your teammates. Face the bloody facts and remind yourself and everyone else why you’re here, where you’re going, and why it matters. In essence, nothing has changed. The obstacle has always been the way. Sometimes it takes an act of betrayal to bring us together. Don’t wait, leader. Your job is to build a predictable, high performance system, and get it to a place of equilibrium. And, your job is to disrupt it. Push beyond the comfort of the status quo and make us do what we can.

Yesterday, during practice 47, a team came together. You could feel it. The leader is a young buck. The team is filled with young men and women who are making a difference doing something very mainstream America – helping humans into homes. This is always why we practice at BTL. We are catalysts for building uncommon unity in common, ordinary, normal places. We do this by taking on the tough topics instead of avoiding them. We believe the truth will set you free even though it might make you uncomfortable for awhile.

Study history. Sabotage is a part of every system. Be ready. It just might be the moment of truth your systems been waiting for to break through to the other side. Oftentimes sabotage is good for growth. Sabotage. Good. Who knew…

3 thoughts on “Sabotage. Good…

  1. Interesting to read this now almost 4 (maybe 5)years later from when what you are writing about happened. You were there and with me. And, what you describe actually happened to us (our company) I was thinking at that time, I might be done. But, we worked hard, made some big changes and slowly it turned and now that we are on the other side of the surprise from 4 years ago I am thankful. We tightened up and got better, a lot better and I got the best team I could have ever wished for!
    Now doing some of the best work we’ve ever done!
    Thank you for being there

  2. Thank you, Chet, for this important message. While we know the 28-55-17 engagement stats, we also know that the majority of leaders of impact bear scars of the 17% in his/her back. Goes with the territory. I’m walking through this with two leaders I deeply respect and honor. Thank you for showing the flipside of betrayal that actually leads to breakthrough.

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