"Branches & Roots": A Look at Strategy and Competition Through the Lens of Business and Sport
A Banyan Tree Strategies Communication
What's Your Team Type?
Independence of thought and action and freedom of will and mind are in the background this weekend as we participate in parades, attend barbecues, and build relationships with our friends and neighbors. The 4th of July is a time of new beginnings for many as the college graduates hopefully have new jobs and adventures to pursue. For others with more established careers it is often a time to take a pause at the half way post for the year and check your team's vital signs and widen the aperture on your lens to see if you need to make any adjustments for the future.
If you are fortunate enough to get a 5 minute pause over the next few weeks, we hope you will enjoy some of our findings below:
* The Banyan YouTube channel is up with our “Culture Killer” series currently being broadcast all over the country on www.coachesaid.com.
Gimme 3 Steps
“Sanders, can’t you just give me the quick 3 steps for me to take to get my team on point"? This is something we hear quite often from managers who don’t have time for long drawn out explanations and philosophy. Your world is impacted for time and it has to be simple for it to transfer through a human system. With that in mind, here are the 3 steps you and your team might consider this summer. We call it the “RE” exercise.
You start by reflecting, go back in your mind 18 months and take a look at what has transpired. The key action here is to “ponder.” Get to the side of your life river and look back up stream and ask yourself, “what did I learn, and what does it mean”?
The second step is to recreate by putting yourself in a fresh environment. Recreation is often associated with long trips away and those trips are very impactful, but watch what happens to you when you go to a different coffee shop, stop at a different park and sit on a bench for 20 minutes and observe your surroundings. Your new environment will take your brain off of auto pilot and it is at this very moment that we encourage you to “Dream.” Try to piece all the things you have been processing in your mind together and give yourself a moment to have a crazy thought. When your entire team is empowered to dream and then share what they thought about you will win in 2 areas. First you will get a major boost in employee engagement because freedom of choice and thought is a prime intrinsic motivator and second when you allow them to share their thoughts the diversity of ideas will inevitably help the team. Ideas of out “Left Field” don’t work at the time crunched Monday meeting, but having a process to share them over time should have a positive impact on your culture.
The third step is to redirect your focus and the key action word here is “Drive.” Now that you have looked back and dreamed about a better future, what are the key initiatives and correlating tasks? We have noticed people are much more inclined to hit their tasks with vigor when they have been given even 30 minutes to reflect and recreate. The half way point in the year is a great time give the “RE” exercise a try and for many of our clients we implement it every 45 days.
Does Your Team Have a "TYPE"?
Most of us have learned what our “DISC” profile is, self-analysis tools that have their roots in 1940’s research and have been marketed to companies for decades. Fraught with angst that somehow the test will reveal a hidden dark negative trait, job applicants have answered the formulaic questions and then the results are shared with the candidate. Then, if hired, a copy ends up in the HR file. Whether shown to you on a circle, triangle, or square the 4 quadrants always emerge and you learn how to share what the Greeks and philosophers like Plato coined “Know Thyself.” Yet all of us know that environment has a massive impact on our performance, regardless of type. This has led us to start quizzing you about the attributes of your best teams, the results of which we will compile in a future white paper. These results so far are leading us to hypothesize that teams can have “types,” and as professionals you will be wise to understand these types as you position yourself for future success.
What goes into a team type? We would like your thoughts to add to what we are considering. We think the length of time that the team is together has a big impact on how the individuals behave. A 5 hour swim on a relay is completely different team than a 16 week youth sport season. Similarly the tech start up with 18 months of capital is a different team than working for a utility like PG&E. We also have noticed that how teams describe themselves makes a difference. “We are a tight team” is an often heard phrase. Is this a warning, a boast, or a self-assurance that the team is worth the effort it takes to be “tight”? Sales teams often have a completely different style of communication than engineering or research teams, misjudging that can lead to all kinds of unintended consequences.
While some of this may appear self-evident to you, we are eager to tease out of the data the relevant points for the next generation of workers to help them enter and contribute to our workplace. The more efficiently we can accomplish this task, the better our economy will be as they build coffers of disposable income. Teams are fluid, evolving systems and we have noticed the average duration is shrinking. In dance terms they are moving from a waltz to a cha cha, please share with us your thoughts here.
The Next Gen Almanac
In line with our theme on integrating the Millennials in to the workforce we have released our 4th publication and first workbook called “The Next Gen Almanac.” The driving force behind this project is that recent college graduates are stumbling as they seek to integrate into corporate cultures. The rhythm of being a student and working for a company are vastly different. Sadly many well-meaning new workers lose critical style points by just not having the basics of life down and are cast aside for “not being an adult” yet.
Into this growing problem we have built a 6 week bound workbook that walks the reader through a way to take inventory of their life each week and also gives them key tips on how to turn their boss into their coach. The Next Gen Almanac will continue to grow in size as we build out more modules and if you are a frustrated employer of this demographic please share with us what you want them to learn.
What Do You Do With a High Value Team Member Who is a "Culture-Killer"?
We are excited to announce a recent partnership between Banyan and Coaches Aid where we have been asked to author a “Learn to Lead” Video series. Our YouTube channel has 8 short videos where we address the hard problems that leaders and coaches face. Leaders care about culture, yet know that the creation of culture comes from every member of the team. Getting the culture soup just right is a true quest and if you have something you would like us to add to this series please share here.
Coachesaid.com is an online broadcasting company that films youth to semi pro sports events all over the US. Here's a sample of one of the productions.
Book Review is Packed
Worthy Fights by Leon Panetta
No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice
Duty by Robert Gates
Any one of these three books will give you an insight into the dynamic times of running the United States before and after September 11, 2001. As our country went about healing from the loss of life, thousands of government employees focused on fast changing landscape of national and global security. None of these are easy reads, but all three left us with a feeling of gratitude towards their service to our country.
How Champions Think by Bob Rotella
The field of Sports Psychology is new relative to its companions and many of the original round-table participants are still with us writing and advising the future of the discipline. Bob Rotella has been a prolific contributor and as such his works are compulsory for the team at Banyan. The line of the book for us was when the author writes of an experience where he wants to tell an audience member who was challenging a statement that Jack Nicklaus had made that “Jack Nicklaus doesn’t need to know what you think, it should be the other way around.”
That line shares with us one of the true challenges of life, with all of the chatter on the airwaves, online, and in classrooms, what should you listen for, and who should you listen to? Having the right filter today matters and in this book Bob Rotella shares with you how to set up your own filter. We highly recommend you know how to build and maintain your filter.
Where did Jordan Spieth and Mariah Stackhouse get their “Third Eye”?
In the last 2 months two different world class golfers have putted with their eyes closed with a championship in the balance. We find this stunning. Can you imagine Stephen Curry closing his eyes on a free throw? For several years Jordan Spieth has on occasion closed his eyes on certain short putts and he did so in both his wins at this year’s Masters and U.S. Open. In addition, Mariah Stackhouse had a 15 foot putt to send the women’s NCAA golf championship to extra holes. If she missed Baylor would win the title, her birdie putt went in and one hole later she and Stanford were NCAA champs for the first time! In a great camera shot the Golf Channel caught her closing her eyes seconds before she took the putter back and then as the feeling of impacting the ball came into her body her natural sight returned and she followed the ball into the hole. It was a true “gamer” moment, the stuff of dreams. (This is now where Sara insisted on inserting "Go Stanford!")
So what is going on that two performers under the age of 22 are apparently removing one of the 5 senses at a most critical moment and how could it benefit you? Our thought for your consideration is that they have been building out a different equally powerful sense that we call the “mind’s eye”.
These young athletes spend the time in training to trust their performance and most of us don’t have the time so maybe we should keep our eyes open, yet the concept of training your mind to be out in front of you and not over the ball is something you can work on even when you have 30 minutes before you play.
We would like to suggest that you consider the action of breathing as your ally in this challenging exercise. Once you are physically warmed up enough to hit some full shots (10 minutes or so into your pregame) see if you can produce a few low release long breaths out through your mouth. 5 seconds should do the trick. Do this 3 times slowly and then stand behind your ball and go into your routine to come into the shot. As you picture the shot you want to hit, your breathing out will push your mind’s eye further out into the range where you want to hit the ball. In effect you’re blowing your mind’s eye out to the target. Give it a few try’s and you will start to realize how efficient your body is at executing without your sight eyes having to participate.
Taking it to the putting green, you will notice as well that once you have a nice balance to your set up, your mind’s eye will be able to keep the line you picked from behind the ball for up to 5 seconds with a diminishing amount of recall occurring the longer you take. We don’t anticipate you breathing so loudly that others will confuse you with a race horse coming down the stretch, just enough to keep mind’s eye engaged. If you want to close your eyes go ahead, and let us know how it works!
Complete Annual Newsletter Volumes