As a leader in the sports world, I’ve seen a lot of attempts to establish a group mantra. “We Work,” “Burn the Boats,” and “Believe” are just a few that quickly come to mind. Truth be told, I’ve never been much a fan of team mantras, unless, that is, they connect the team to two things: a deeply held belief and an action.
In 1967, when Israel was facing the prospect of attack from three bordering adversaries, the very nature of the country’s existence was in jeopardy. Looking for support from their allies and the United Nations, none was forthcoming. Surrounded and vastly outnumbered, they adopted an audacious plan to make a preemptive first strike. Attached to each mission order was the mantra En brera—no alternative. The belief that there was an existential threat to Israel and the clarity regarding the action to be taken and the consequences of failure galvanized the Israeli military. En brera reinforced a mindset that underscored one of the most stunning and complete military victories in modern warfare. The result of the “Six Day War” changed the geo-political landscape of the Middle East.
At Built to Lead we have a team mantra: “together we transform.” This mantra underscores our belief that none of us is meant to go it alone, that we are built for relationship, and that it is through relationship that we change and grow. The action this mantra prompts us to take is to connect. We do this by practicing with our clients and their teams, by practicing as a band, by writing and connecting others to this writing, by reaching out when we see another hurting, and by reaching out when we are hurt.
Our mantra emanates from our deeply held beliefs and drives our actions. What are the mantras of your team(s)? To what beliefs do they connect you and what actions do they inspire? How effective are they? Ask your team.