Before we can align and unleash, we have to make an important choice. This choice sets us on the path and it enables the possibility that a team can align around what matters and unleash their energy to make it happen.
Below is a transcript of the audio program. Forgive any mistakes the A.I. might have made in the transcription process.
excellence, mediocrity, option b, work, mission, aligned, team, dynamics, alignment, unleash, slide, option, consistently, energy, choose, mediocre, matters, aim, collective, path
This is Dave Fleming at the ingenuity lab. There’s almost nothing more exciting and energizing, than to be a part of a team that is engaged, focused, relentlessly pursuing their mission together with excellence and fun. There’s also nothing more deflating than to be on the opposite kind of a team. A kind of team that is disengaged, mediocre, flat, disinterested, barely hanging on. I mean, between option A and B, who’s going to choose option B? I mean, really, think about it. Does anybody wake up in the morning and think, today, my team and I are shooting for mediocrity.
I mean, that really is our goal. We come in, and we don’t really do our work to our best. In fact, we’re most of the time trying to undo things that would make our progress better, and advancing our mission. You know, what we’re aiming for, is to just get by to barely make it through to sort of crawl from the car back to it. And if we can also be at odds, when we’re doing a mediocre job of fulfilling our mission, all the better. I mean, all the better.
Because then we can also be super stressed over how much we hate each other and don’t like being together.
Man, I’m in how about you?
Now, of course, I’m being facetious, right? Of course, I’m exaggerating. Or am I, of course, nobody actually wakes up, goes to work, calls a huddle, and says anything like what I just said. But here’s what I’ve discovered personally. And in my work over the last three decades, with hundreds and hundreds of teams.
No one chooses option B intentionally, we drift into option B, we drift into option B. And it gets even a little stickier than that. When we don’t intentionally choose Option A, the engaged high performing team, we are actually choosing some version of option B.
Which leads to a very important principle, we need to remember right at the outset of this program. We become what we consistently and deliberately pay attention to. We become what we consistently and deliberately pay attention to. Now there’s a bit of a twist here that’s important. If I pay attention consistently to the desire and the behaviors of excellence, I will achieve more excellence in life all things being equal. But if I choose not to pay attention to those elements of excellence, I don’t get to stay at neutral at some plateau.
By default am choosing mediocrity. Or we could say by default, I’ll start to slide backward. There is no plateau where I stay. I’m either moving forward or sliding backward. Do you believe that? Now there may be certain things where it’s okay to slide backward a bit. You know, we can’t consistently maintain excellent at everything we put our hands to, some things are good enough. But when it comes to the mission of your team, and the excellence of the work you do both individually and collectively, is sliding backward, okay? Or is there really a need to continue to circle and rally around a new level of excellence so that we don’t slide back into mediocrity? And what would it look like to be aligned and unleashed around a process that enables the team to increase its effectiveness around the things that matter? What would that look like? What does a team look like? How do they remain aligned and unleashed? How do they remain together in this quest, so they don’t haphazardly slide, back to mediocrity?
In this program, we’re going to consider the two overlapping circles, overlapping dynamics that enable a team to press deeper, higher into their own effectiveness, their own excellence, their own high performance. There are two dynamics that make that possible, an ongoing alignment around what matters and ongoing unleashing of energy, collective energy, as well as individual energy, all aimed at that aligned mission.
That’s where the power is. It’s not just about coming to work and doing the work. It’s about coming to work, and re establishing these two dynamics. Every day, we are aligned, that alignment doesn’t last. So we must align again. And again, and again, new priorities, new adaptations are required, we must align again and again. And then in that new alignment, we once again take our personal and collective energy, and we aim it at what matters most.
These two practices, these two overlapping dynamics are what enable an organization or a team to pursue with deliberate and intentional energy, a higher path, a deeper path, a richer, more rewarding path. And so today, before we think about what it means to be aligned, before we think about how to continue to unleash energy together, this is the question will you make your choice? Will you make your choice to be aligned and unleash your personal and collective energy toward a better expression of your mission?
Before we can talk about alignment before we can explore what it means to unleash, we must make a deliberate choice. Make your choice today? Is it option A? Or is it option B? Remember, if we don’t choose Option A, we default into some version of option B, we default into some version of mediocrity. And that’s why we start with this choice. Choose today. Is it Option A or Option B? Choose the path you will take and that will make the first difference as we explore a line and unleash.
Make. Your. Choice.
This is Dave Fleming at The Ingenuity Lab