Thursday, October 30, 2008

Teamwork is about skulls and flaming coffins

This past weekend kicked off with my participation in this years Emma Crawford coffin races, just down the road in "weird" Manitou Springs. I was invited to join in the fun and support a friend of mine whose teammates had backed out last minute. The idea of this annual event centers around Emma Crawford, who lived in Manitou, then died, something about a coffin and a hill, halloween costumes, I don't remember exactly, but you can get the real story here.

What I found amazing was how 5 people who didn't all know each other could get together and sprint an 80 pound coffin on wheels up a hill for 250 yards and be so excited to do it. Within minutes of meeting we all knew what roles we were going to play, our positions on the coffin and after a short while we had a full blown strategy. It was so cool to see how quickly all 5 of us came together, devised a plan and executed it, sort of. Something about a clear, common goal, the overall energy of the environment and knowing that everyone had to excel in order for us to succeed was what motivated us. I wonder how the simplicities and effortless coordination in moments like these could be incorporated into the daily business environment? Just a thought...

And if you are wondering, we placed 19th out of 49 coffins. Not bad for a team that didn't really know each other, nor practiced, and in my case, had no idea how that flaming coffin was going to handle.


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