Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
If you’ve ever been to an airshow, they can be equally jaw-dropping and unnerving at the same time. The teams of pilots practice endlessly for the shows, and often the distance between a perfect maneuver and disaster is a twitch in the wrist. Team coordination is the key to success in having a safe and successful event. Here are some things that we can model after these teams.
They have a high level of trust with each other.
Blue Angels pilots must trust each other inexplicably. They willingly put their lives in their team’s hands every day. Trust is an important piece in every team no matter if you are the shift leader of a shoe store or flying a multi-million dollar jet. Trust is one of the leading factors on whether the team/company will be good, great or fail. If people don’t trust their leadership team, trouble is sure to follow. Here are some areas to think on as you build trust.
- Clear and consistent communication.
- The ability to walk what you talk.
- A sense that you authentically understand others.
- You have the skill set to perform your role well.
They have an unwavering commitment to each other.
Military life is certainly different. Each branch of the service finds success by having its members lose a sense of self and focus on the needs of the team and mission above their own. To be an elite pilot chosen to fly with the Blue Angels, each individual must choose others above their own wants and needs. They spend more time studying while others socialize, more time training while others call it a day, and more time together than they are required to.
An uncommitted team member can quickly drag down the efficiency of the team and cause a number of issues. Your team needs to see and feel as if you are committed to the mission, the set standard and most importantly that you are committed to them on a personal level. You can’t expect your people to be great and perform well if you aren’t committed to being great yourself.
They communicate often with each other.
Pilots are great communicators while on the job. They communicate essential information but don’t clutter up the airwaves with needless talk and useless information. This can be a challenging balancing act because we want our people to know what’s going on. Communicate too much; forward emails that they already received just to add your two cents, or make everything a top priority, and lose the credibility of your message. Fail to communicate enough and your people are sure to fall short in some capacity.
Check with your team on your communication amount, tenor, timing and frequency. I do this a few times a year and adjust as needed. Just because you are good doesn’t mean you stay that way over time. Listen with an open mind and make adjustments as needed.
Coordinate well with your team and put on a great show for your customers.
Make a better tomorrow.