21 Nov 6 Lessons We Learned From A Simple Game of ‘Balancing A Stick’
How many times have you looked at a project at work and thought, “This seems easy!!” Pumped up and puffed up with confidence, you would have thought of it as a cakewalk for your team. But was it really so? Find out with this little story that Vivek had us play out at our Continuous Learning session.
You can call it a story or a game. I find it a bit of both – a story with a lesson and a game that showed us a lot about achieving a target as a team. This week’s Continuous Learning session at MyNextHire was led by Vivek Jade, our CEO. As usual, his sessions are unique and loaded with leadership and team-building lessons and this one was no different.
So as soon as the game plan unfolded, we were ecstatic. It was such a simple task – all you needed to do was to lower a stick till the floor, keeping it balanced and contact with the backside of the forefingers. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy, right? Yeah! So Vivek had us divided into two teams of 5 each and had us do the task individually first. We did it! Then, he had two of us do the same with the stick – very easy. Then he had all 5 of trying it now. We couldn’t. We tried everything – setting a start time, lowering at a decided pace – nothing seemed to work the magic that we did when we did it individually.
It was the other team’s chance. They fared better – they had enough time to watch us and discuss the mistakes that we made and created a game plan. But even after doing all the planning they couldn’t achieve the target. There were no winners for this game. But I don’t choose to see it that way – the takeaway from the game was much more than the happiness that winning the game would have given us.
It was an interactive session and the discussion at the end was worthy of an MBA class. Especially from someone who has been there and done that. For every insight that we had, Vivek has great explanations to go with it. Here are just a few that I would like to share with you:
- It is easy for communication to be broken down despite the strategy. The key is to let the person doing the wrong thing know that and correct them and get them back on the right path.
- Having a plan is always better than not having one at all as you get to start. Even if the plan fails, you know what works and what doesn’t work.
- To work together we need not like one another; we should be able to accommodate everyone. In a team, if you need to achieve something phenomenal then you need to carry everyone together.
- A Team that creates a culture where failure is looked down is very difficult to survive. Every team member is important and each team member should be able to get up and try again after a failure as far as the person is sincere
- Sometimes, it is important for the situation to guide us vs. the situation guiding us.
- Anything that seems simple may become complex when you work with others in a team. The key is to achieve happiness and greatness through teamwork vs. individual greatness. Just as an individual runner can only run so many miles whereas a relay time can cover greater distances together.