I was driving down the windy road, smile on my face, music turned up to 11. And although it wasn’t Alanis blaring through the speakers, it probably should have been. Isn’t it ironic?
I had just finished leading a three-day offsite for an incredible new client. It was held at the Traavasa Spa, and if you haven’t been there, you should visit. Beautiful, serene, lovely service.
I was contacted a mere few weeks ago by this client and asked to pull together an agenda that would assimilate a new leader, build a trusting team, and plan for 2012. A lot to accomplish in such a short period of time, but I was up for the challenge.
Day one… Check!
Day three… Check!
Day two… hmmmmmm, what to do… this was the day of trust.
The team had all read “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and while I knew we would have some healthy discussion around this book, they really needed a turn around activity. One that would bond them, inspire them, allow them to experience the exhilarating rush of true team support and encouragement. Even tougher… this was a group of learning and development leaders. They had seen it all.
Enter my friend Tristan Truscott, Sensei Tristan that is. Tristan and I have worked together on several occasions with much success and I thought this team was calling his name.
We began prepping. I briefed him on the team dynamics and desires for the offsite. “Hmmm… interesting,” he said. “I’m not sure what to do yet. I’m going to meditate on that.” Seriously, dude, we are with this team in less than 10 days. Meditate? Cough up an exercise already!
Irony #1… I have deeply been trying to incorporate meditation into my daily life, telling people to breath more, meditate more. And here is someone for whom meditation is not an “event” for the day, but as fluid for him as breathing. It was required space for him to create, to envision, to realize the right activity.
Okay, calm down Linda. He’ll come up with something great. I’ve seen it twice before. Just trust. Let go and trust.
Okay, there it is: Irony #2… I had to trust. I had to let go. I had to practice the very lesson we were about to teach… cultivate and surround yourself with the best energy, build the trust through experience, and with that, the belief in all the possibilities will come.
Fast-forward to the day before the offsite. Tristan and I Skyped and I felt his focus and passion about the meeting. It was contagious. Still no detailed agenda discussed other than I knew we would be breaking boards at the end of the day. Trust, Linda, trust, I whispered to myself.
Day Two arrived… 12:30… 12:40… trust, Linda, trust.. aaah he’s here!
Irony #3… I was there to teach, yet I was the student. I was reminded of the great lessons I already knew… surround yourself with talented, passionate people, trust, let go, and guess what… they deliver. And he did.
SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! The boards broke one by one and with each split, a team divided became a team unified. And it felt amazing. Really amazing.
What a great way to end the week. Thanks to this great team for letting me be part of their lives this week. Thanks to my trusted friend and colleague, Tristan, for reminding me that all the lessons I get to learn are one of the greatest gifts of coaching.