Three weeks ago, I started a series of themes of the week based on a book I had been reading last month by John Maxwell and Rob Hoskins called, Change Your World.
This week we talk about Chapter 4 – “Let’s All Get on the Same Page.” It is a great follow-up to last week’s theme, “We All Need One Another.” We all need to work together in any team setting, and a key to that happening is making sure that we are all on the same page.
Part of a Cause
The first section of the chapter talked about “Why People Rally Around a Cause.” Three reasons given were: They are Seeking Connection with Others, They Want to Be Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves, They Want to Receive Value from Giving.
Think of the teams that you are a part of. Do the team members embody these three ideas? If so, you have a chance at producing some amazing results, for they are bought in to whatever cause you have come together in support of.
Some of you who are coaches may be thinking, “I coach a sports team. We’re not there in support of any cause.”
Maybe. But while most of your kids would probably say they are there to have fun playing a sport and winning some contests, those ideas in and of themselves could be considered causes in your kids’ lives.
Those are things that your kids have a strong desire to see happen. Couldn’t they be considered a cause?
Then consider the idea that many kids love the connection they have with teammates, the joy of being part of a team (something bigger than themselves), and the value they get helping others on their team have success.
Sure, many kids are on a team because they played that sport their whole life, they like playing it, and they want to win games. But many kids also enjoy these “Rally Around a Cause” aspects of being on a team.
This is also a huge part for those of us who coach. I believe most coaches truly enjoy those aspects of the team/athletic experience. And they realize that it helps them feel they are doing something truly significant in kids’ lives.
Maxwell & Hoskins say, “This is the start of the significance journey. We give. And the longer we stay on this giving path, the more we realize that helping others helps us.”
When It Doesn’t Work
However, there are times when, as the next heading states, “Some Attempts at Movement Don’t Move.” They cite a few reasons for this.
The first is a lack of unity. If you’ve ever been part of a team that was not a together team or a unified team, you know exactly what they are talking about.
Teams need everyone working together to be their best. When they don’t work together, the team suffers.
Maxwell & Hoskins also point to an “Absence of a Positive Goal” as being problematic. They say: “It’s difficult to create a focused agenda and build a movement when you’re against something instead of for something…. Being against something isn’t attractive. It doesn’t draw positive people who want to work for positive change. If you want to create positive change in the world, you have to be for something.”
I love this concept. As leaders of teams, it is critical that we focus on the positive. We need to get team members to rally around the things that we stand for—our team standards, being great teammates, working together as a unified group, etc.—as opposed to focusing on what we are against—usually some type of opponent.
Yes, we will have a common opponent that we will compete against. But focusing on them is playing the comparison game. Who they are is out of our control. It is better to focus on what we have control over—our attitude, effort, and standards—the things that we stand for and say is our identity as a team.
“Inadequate Leadership” is another problem area. Seth Godin says, “The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.”
While leaders need to react and respond at times, they also need to be the ones who initiate at times. Initiating takes your own thoughts, your own desire, and your own plan to get something done. Initiating requires a lot more work than just reacting to what others say or do.
Maxwell & Hoskins say, “Transformational movements aren’t successful and sustainable unless they are led by transformational leaders…. Great leaders who make a difference are not born that way. They are formed into great leaders as they move with others to make a difference for those around them.”
How Transformation Happens
Maxwell & Hoskins wrap up this chapter with six pictures that illustrate how transformation happens. There is the picture, a heading about it, and then an explanation of what they each mean. I will not go into as much detail on the concept as Maxwell and Hoskins do. As I have said each week, you really need to pick up the book yourself, so you can fully comprehend all of the ideas in it.
The first picture is of a waterfall. It demonstrates a “Top-Down” concept. This is about leadership. They say, “Transformation begins with influence, and influence always flows from the top down, like a waterfall, not upward. When leaders use their influence to get behind something, they can make things happen.”
Next comes a ladder. We move up a ladder from the bottom. This is focused on encouraging mobility, as in climbing. They say, “While influence flows down, transformation climbs up…. When you help people to improve their lives, they rise up…. When people are encouraged to dream, assisted in improving themselves through good values, and empowered to climb the ladder of success, they can also begin to make things better for others.”
The concept of the heart is that it is from the inside-out. It is about embracing values. Maxwell & Hoskins quote businessman Bill McDermott, who says, “Every movement has a single point of origin.” They add, “That origin is always in the heart of a person. It is an expression of the heart, birthed in the values that person has embraced, and from there it flows outward and manifests itself in the individual’s behaviors and communication. From there, it can spread to others.”
The idea of joined hands is that the people on the team are side-by-side, working together as partners. “Transformation begins in an individual, grows in community, and impacts a society. But the process always starts with partnerships based on common ground.”
In describing elements of good partnerships, Maxwell and Hoskins reference the book, Power of 2 by Rodd Wagner and Gale Muller. Wagner & Muller note that while partners need to be on the same mission, their reasons for being on that mission can be quite different. The key is that they never lose sight of the mission, the goal they are pursuing, and the motivations that each has for achieving it.
The picture of a table is meant to illustrate that we may start out small, but that’s okay because we will continue to grow as we invite more people to the table. “Mass movements don’t begin with the masses. They begin with a few people. When people can sit around the table together as equal contributors, everyone wins.”
The final transformation picture is a bridge. The idea is that we move from “Here to There” on our road to transformation. Maxwell & Hoskins state, “It starts with good values. Good values create growth. Growth creates transformation. Transformation creates movement. Movement creates change. And change helps us cross over into a better future.”
The chapter wraps up with them hinting at the focus of the next chapter—“Experience the Value of Values”— when they say, “You cannot make a difference or change your world in a positive way unless you build everything you do on good values. They are the single most important part of any transformational movement.
I’m looking forward to next week, when I dive into that concept of the “value of values,” as that is a huge part of the presentations I do on team-building, as well as what I have tried to do with my own teams through the years. I invite you to come back for that next week.