“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Babe Ruth

Yesterday I co-facilitated a team-building workshop for the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber Leadership Class. This was the first real day together for the new class of 2013-14 and it was held at a local camp that focused on physical/mental team challenges on a ropes course.

At the start of the day, most people knew little about their classmates. Here is what the morning looked like:

HR CHamber








The members of the class came together and formed a group. Think of a group of people waiting for a train. They have a common interest but no real accountability towards one another. Each of those people have an individual goal of getting on that train. If someone else on the platform doesn’t manage to get on the train, it doesn’t affect the rest of the individuals who do board. True, someone may stop and hold the door to make it possible for others, but in the end, they are focused on being sure they themselves get on.

In the beginning, yesterday’s leadership class formed a group.

As the day progressed, the challenges became increasingly dependent on better team work. No one person led every time, everyone had input, and they began to focus their efforts on each person’s strengths.

This was the first day of nine months together and every person was there was to step outside of their comfort zones and learn to be better leaders.

Here is what the end of the day looked like:









By the time the new Leadership Class left, they had made progress towards becoming a team whose collective performance will outweigh their individual performances.

In the professional world, we often advance by focusing on individual goals and success. There are many high achieving groups that are called teams but they fall short of the real collaboration to make it so.  A true team has creativity, adaptability, accountability and buy-in. It is unforgettable to be a part of a remarkable team.

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