“Great moments are born from great opportunity,” Is the opening line from Herb Brooks pregame talk in Miracle on Ice. Pregame pep talks have become a ritual before big games.
Memorable events are the most valuable experience. A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers. It’s that time of year that permits the calendar to pack traditions, rites and rituals on top of each other, week in and week out.
First it’s Easter, then graduations, then Mother’s Day, yard work, opening the summer place; talk about a lot going on!!! Some of the Family rituals surround holidays, dying eggs, hiding eggs and baskets over flowing with chocolate and jelly beans to name a few. Some of the challenges of business are the absence of a pre-game pep talk, and the lack of a rising crescendo, final scene.
Businesses need rituals. These daily, weekly, monthly and yearly events are not just symbolic, or traditional; these are the tools that make us plan, communicate and adjust. In his book Win, Frank Luntz suggests that there are nine P’s in winning; I suggest 10 since Frank omitted planning.
1. People-centeredness – every team is made of people and communication with them is a key.
2. Paradigm Breaking – winners are not improvers; they are game changers.
3. Prioritization – great teams can separate what needs to be done with what should be done.
4. Perfection – winners always shoot for the moon, they know good is never good enough
5. Partnership – partner or perish
6. Passion – communicate it, work to make the results showcase the passion and always have a call to action, assistance.
7. Persuasion – winning teams don’t preach they persuade.
8. Persistence – winning is not a single game, month or customer.
9. Principled Action – winners keep their ethics
10.Planning- It all takes a plan!
Great teams have rites and rituals; they need to error on the side of action, they need to have a bias for action and understand that difference between doable hard and destructive hard tasks. Successful teams challenge each other and still take the time for passionate, positive discussions sincerely asking how are you doing?
The ten “P”s are all about communicating. We must remember we cannot drift into continuous improvement. Getting better is work, hard work. Prioritization is sometimes saying no. When asked why Microsoft never made computer chips, Bill Gates said it was not a priority. It wasn’t what the organization was geared to do. Planning is part of the ritual. In business, like sports we need to play every shift, every period, win each day and we will have solid performance.
Performance creates freedom.
When we are achieving our goals, scoring our metrics, our Leaders don’t check every minute, every minor detail. We get the freedom to do more’ achieve more and contribute more. Accountability and checking increases when it’s a new project, when metrics are being missed, we share a responsibility, a liability to each other to neither suffocate nor abdicate our teams and our teammates.
All the runners in a race compete, only one wins-Run to Win.