We are so conditioned by the belief that BIGGER is always BETTER. That is simply not true.
I just facilitated our Leadership Movement Program and our 4-Day Mastery Retreat in Scottsdale last week. We had incredible leaders from all across the country, with various size teams, new business owners & seasoned business owners, and they all expressed the same similar challenges in scaling their business... The TEAM.
So, we did some experiential learning on Piestewa Peak in Phoenix.
Here's what happened with both Groups:
We all started together at the trailhead. We had energy, excitement, nerves (this is rated as a hard/challenging hike), and a strong and willing desire to get to the top. I positioned one of my team members as the Lead Guide, another team member in the center as an anchor point, and I held the back anchor to make sure all participants were safe, staying on the trail, and keeping energy high with the right supplies.
About 15-20 minutes into the hike, the lead group, center point anchor, and back anchor's distance starting getting further and further apart.
An hour into the hike the distance from the lead group to center group to back group became even greater.
Eventually, we all made it to the top. CELEBRATE!!! What a great feeling for all. We did it!!! The view was incredible... a full view of the Phoenix Valley as the sun was rising. It was a challenging, rocky, steep hike with an elevation gain of 1148 feet. We felt accomplished. A rush of energy surged as we were sharing with one another what we saw, felt, and learned about ourselves on the way up.
It was time to head back down the mountain and the same distances repeated themselves. Celebrate, we all made it off the mountain safely.
After stopping for coffee on the way back to the Retreat Mansion, we jumped into the pool to cool off and get ready for The Mountain Debrief.
The Mountain Debrief:
What Happened - A Summary Of The Hiking Experience
What Worked With The Hike? (we all made it to the top, we were safe, had the right supplies/gear, we kept our energy up, we didn't lose sight of the Mission to complete)
What Didn't Work With The Hike? (gaps in distance became a bit too large, not everyone communicating clearly, center anchor got stretched too far on both sides)
What Would You Do Again Next Hike? (know the Mission, pack same gear, always check on energy levels, and know when to rest.)
What Would You Change For Next Hike? (close the gaps, reminding the Team it's not how quickly you get there, it's about how the Whole Team is getting to the destination together for the greater good of the Mission and when the gap is too big, you lose sight.)
What To Celebrate? How & Why? (We cheered each other on, we sang, we hugged, we had happy tears, and we felt super connected. Of course, Iced Cold Brew Coffee at the base)
The parallels between the scaling the mountain and scaling the business are so clear. So, we took our Mountain Debrief and applied it to Scaling our TEAMS in Business.
The Questions I Asked About Their Business TEAM:
Who's On Your Team? (New Talent, Mid-Career, Seasoned Professionals, Mission-Driven, Team Oriented, Isolated, Detached or Disconnected, The Cheerleaders, The Complainer, The Solution Seeker or The Problem Finder)
What Is In Your Backpack "Gear"? (systems, set-of-standards, internal training programs, education, knowing the talents & strengths of each team member, onboarding processes, team building, leadership development, a clear map with clarified objectives, vision, values, and mission.
What Is Your Strategy? (how are you matching the needs of the business with the TEAM and GEAR in order to Scale?)
What Are You Allowing That Is Pulling You In The Valley? (where have you been allowing excuses, who are you allowing to compromise standards repeatedly, when do you feel like you lose sight of Mission, and what is the pattern or habit of the Team when pressure rises?)
Then, we took our Mountain Debrief and Questions above and connected the stories of what happened on that Mountain and what they see happen on their own Teams.
Very quickly, the room of Leaders saw their own teams trying to Scale The Mountain in Business. The BIGGEST learning moment is when the Leaders understood that the Mountain requires a TEAM that is Mission-Driven, Clear On The Direction, Clear Communication, Cohesive With Talents/Strengths, and An Unwavering Willingness To SCALE Together.
They saw how in their own businesses that when the gap between the top performers and lower performers became too big, the Mission got messy. They saw the need to tighten the gap, to increase the health of the Culture, to grow technical skill-sets, to increase personal development, to improve communication, and to always remember to Celebrate how far they've come during the climb.
They also discovered that some of the gear they've been carrying in their backpack (systems, strategies, tools) were no longer serving their Mission or Team and that it was time to let go of some of the gear. It was very apparent how some of these things have been weighing them down and making it harder to SCALE. (they went home with a plan to do inventory and clean-out their 'gear')
They drew out their Business Team scaling the mountain on a large flip chart paper. They named the team members, identified their unique talents and strengths, positioned them based on their strengths, and gave them the necessary gear to SCALE.
It was beautiful to watch the leaders see their TEAM on their Mountain. It was powerful to watch the leaders understand that it's NOT the SIZE of the TEAM, It's WHO IS ON THE TEAM!
In closing, remember this... it's not how many people are climbing the mountain with you or scaling your business with you... it's WHO.
Are they Mission-Driven, Team-Driven, Aligned With Your Values & Vision, WILLING, Trusting, and Prepared To GROW With You? Are they able to take on the 'right' kind of pressure for the right reasons in Scaling Your Business?
Cheering You On As You Scale!
PS: Reach out to me directly with any questions on Scaling Your Team! firstname.lastname@example.org