The Spirit of togetherness

Man is a social animal (Duh! What a statement to start with). I was taught this right from my childhood days. Back then I had doubts about the word ‘animal’ and used to think how are we animals? Now-a-days I am confident about us being animals based on the acts that the human race is up to. But I now have doubts on the word ‘social’. Are we really social? Active? Sensible?

We all work in teams; whether in office, at home or any party. We are found in herds. And most of the time if not always we remember these teams. The ‘office team’ to deliver the last project. The school group who were always asked to stand on the bench, college gang who was nowhere found near college. We always were team. But do we have a different feeling when it comes to office teams vs the other teams we had. Was the office experience equally awesome as the rest experiences?

Somehow the spirit of being a team doesn’t just get in. Ya! I listen to many out here, that it’s because John is not cooperative, or Joe loses temper a lot. Wasn’t that the case with other teams? Were we teams in college days since all had the same temperament level? We had different attitudes but had some sort of common vibes that we shared. Some rhythm that made us inseparable. Working as a group then was fun and not work. To be precise – there was a Team Culture.

mumbai marathon 2010

Last Sunday I had a déjà vu in the same regards. I took part in the  Mumbai Marathon. Most of us didn’t know why we were there and by running 6 / 21 / 42 Kms what the heck  were we going to add in someone’s life (I was running 6 km aka Dream Run). Same is the case in any company. We do share a vision but not all from the CEO right to the watchman have their actions aligned to the goal (some how!). As college gangs we never pushed ourselves to anything and yet achieved satisfaction, but as professionals we have goal sheets to drive us, yet no outcomes.

Back to Marathon. With no understanding what so ever we were about to run the 6 Kms Dream Run at a stretch. It was 9.30 in the morning and the sun rays were all set to burn us. Still the spirits were high! There’s much chaos in offices today same as it was there with those thousands of runners but still at office high spirits just doesn’t work. In a Dream Run we have to complete the race, but there’s no competition about who comes first. In companies we don’t know whether the race will be completed and the client will be happy but there is a race for the next promotion cycle (having a déjà vu?)

I believe it’s the spirit of togetherness that makes or breaks any team. Notice how your team interacts with each other for a couple of days post a picnic. Notice how they help each other after a 2 hour session with the HR (if at all you have). Somewhere things just stick to subconscious mind and they stick better to the subconscious rather than the conscious. Whether it’s an office outing or a Family gathering, bonds do strengthen automatically. And finally, if that is the case we can simply influence how a team performs by working on the subconscious. Are there any ways your company or you as a leader working on it?

End of the day I had great fun from the Marathon and a very sensible thought that I conveyed couple of friends who didn’t join me for the dream run. The thought is:

If you work as a team, enjoy whatever the outcome is, as a team. The outcome simply becomes an achievement in itself and even a 6 km run on a lazy Sunday morning, becomes a memory to cherish for a life time.

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