While our elected officials in Washington are busy demonstrating everything teamwork isn’t, let me tell you about an example of teamwork at its best that I recently witnessed.
Every few years, T&S Brass and Bronze Works, a manufacturer of plumbing and foodservice products used in facilities throughout the world, holds a training session for their representatives to bring them up to date on new products, new procedures and new developments. Because T&S is one of our longtime clients, I attended the session that was held a few weeks ago at their headquarters in Travelers Rest, SC.
The positive experience started when the reps were shuttled from their hotel to the T&S training center. As they made their way toward coffee, juice and trays of breakfast breads, they were presented with packets containing a welcome letter, schedule, flyer about things to do in the area, new product brochure, and thumb drive containing all the information that would be presented over the next day and a half. The opening presentation included introductions to key staff members who would be involved in the training sessions, all of whom were gathered and visible at the back of the lecture hall.
As the day progressed, engagement was high as people gained information from a steady stream of well-prepared speakers and well-done presentations. There was plenty of time allotted for questions and discussion, a local food truck that, through impressive orchestration, got some 80 people fed in a matter of minutes, and several 10-minute breaks that kept attention focused and interruptions at a minimum. Day 1 was capped off with a banquet back at the hotel that offered plenty of food and fun but ended early enough so that everyone could be ready to roll again the next morning.
Day 2 ended at noon with a box lunch and a call for anyone whose flight required early transport. (Instructions were emailed in advance requesting flights be scheduled between certain hours so group transportation could be arranged; only a couple of people required special assistance.)
As the last few reps bid farewell and boarded the shuttle to the airport, T&S execs whose knowledge and expertise had been front and center for the last 28 hours began pushing chairs and tables into place and scooping empty cups and bottles into the trash as they made their way back to their respective offices. I was impressed. Maybe I’m giving more credit than is due, but the message that came through was a “one for all and all for one” mentality that said nobody was more important than another and these people were all part of a team that had a job to do.
The entire training session, from my point of view, was flawless; if anything went awry, it certainly wasn’t obvious, and I suspect hours and hours of effort went into achieving that result. Events like that don’t happen without teamwork. No one person can put together all that’s involved in creating a successful event, business, campaign or initiative without enlisting the help of others. Teamwork involves communication, commitment, negotiation and compromise but, in the end, what’s accomplished by a group working well together will far surpass anything accomplished by one.
Take a look at the tasks on your “To Do” list and consider whether a team effort might offer a better solution than the one you were considering on your own. You could achieve better results than you ever thought possible.