If you've ever managed a diverse workforce, you know it can be challenging to get everyone working productively as a team. One of our clients who is a sales manager, found himself in that position as he prepared to speak to his brand new team of 13 sales executives.
He had recently been assigned to manage them and this would be the first time they had ever worked together. He began his presentation by referencing the Sugar Bowl game between the Texas Longhorns and the VPI Hokies in 2002. "If you had been at that game," he said, "you would have seen a battered lunch pail on the sideline."
He told his new team that earlier in the fall, each member of the VPI team from Virginia had put a slip of paper in that lunch pail and written both his personal goals and the goals he wanted for the team on it. The first half of the game went to the favored Texas Longhorns, but to the surprise of all who watched, the second half saw the underdog Hokies make touchdown after touchdown to soundly defeat Texas.
Some people are fond of saying there is no "I": in team. Our client pointed out that it is even more important to realize that by joining together and merging goals "team" becomes "Together Everyone Achieves More."
In closing, he asked the 13 sales executives on his new team to take a piece paper and write down their personal goals and what they saw as the team goal for the coming year. Then he brought out his battered lunch pail and collected them.