Everyone Did Such a Great Job in the Leadership Workshop Today,
BY Tim Sniffen
Okay, everyone! Let’s circle up! This will be our final exercise.
I just want to say what an absolutely great job everyone has done. Today was about letting go of your fears, relinquishing control, and learning to trust your teammates. That is not an easy thing to do.
Remember the ropes course? How many of you thought, There is no way I am going through with that…? I saw it on your faces! And I watched each and every one of you push through that fear—with one exception.
When you all were rowing, how cool was it to see your skiff really start to move, once everyone agreed on a rhythm? Super cool, right? We also saw how a skiff will sit motionless in the water when one member betrays the team with their desperate, erratic rowing patterns. When one member lets their fear poison everyone’s chances of success.
Sure, the afternoon scavenger hunt was a lot of fun. But only after you started sharing clues and solving puzzles together! I wanted to cheer when you formed that human pyramid to reach the window into the clock tower! And I wanted to scream when a single, malignant force tried to tear down the pyramid.
Honestly, the sight of a grown man, clutching his one hoarded clue, dragging his teammates—his brothers and sisters—into the mud where he’d been hiding… it sickened me. It represented everything this workshop fights against. And you triumphed over it.
I’m gonna tell you something: I teach a lot of these workshops. They always go fine. People are good at faking their way through them. But every now and then a group blows me away. Today you reminded me what a well-connected group of people minus Spencer can accomplish when trust wins out.
Look at each other. Really see each other! No, don’t look at Spencer. Do not look at Spencer. Eye contact is a type of approval, and he does not deserve that. He’s fine in the corner. Look at each other and think: this is my family. When we work together, nothing is impossible!
I hear the bus pulling up outside, but I have one last challenge for you. And that’s to protect… this. It may look like a spirit stick, but I call it the Together Talisman. The Talisman represents everything you’ve accomplished today. It’s yours to keep. Does everyone have a hand on it? Make room for Lori at the bottom!
When I let go, it’s up to you to get it safely to the bus. I don’t want to see the Talisman touching the ground, and I don’t want to see anyone letting go! The team is strongest when everyone is involved.
That’s it—it’s yours now.
Some of you look nervous about having to walk so close to Spencer. Don’t be. He is nothing compared to the power of this team. Focus on each other! You’re almost at the—SPENCER. SPENCER, GET DOWN. Keep your hands on the stick, everyone! Just keep—do not let Spencer touch it. DO NOT LET HIM FOUL THE TALISMAN WITH HIS TOUCH. PUSH HIM DOWN. YES. PUSH HIM. NOW GET ON THE BUS AND LEAVE HIM. LEAVE HIM.
Okay, great. Good luck!
SUGGESTED READSMy Team Crushes it at Team-Building Exercises
by Jake Hurwitz (7/12/2010)
An Office Team-Building Summit Conducted By an Employee Who Wasn’t Allowed to Go to Burning Man This Year
by Sam O'Brien (8/31/2009)
RECENTLYThe Sirens’ Performance Review
by Jon Wolper (3/10/2014)
Hungover Bear and Friends: Become Not Acquire
by Ali Fitzgerald (3/10/2014)
Letters to McSweeney’s
by Various Letter Writers (3/10/2014)
POPULAROpen Letters: An Open Letter to Men On the Subway, Specifically During Morning Rush Hour On the A Train Between Jay Street and Canal
by Jenna Clark Embrey (2/21/2014)
Kama Sutra for Couples Who Have Been Dating for Over Three Years
by Chelsea Davison (1/15/2014)
I Hope You Enjoy This Artisanal Knuckle Sandwich
by Keith Wisniewski (2/26/2014)