Go Deep

Go Deep: a football team is five points back in a crucial game. Seconds left on the clock. Nothing short of a heroic effort is worth attempting. No turning back. All or nothing. "Go deep" the quarterback says to his favourite receiver. Thousands hold their breath as though breathing would blow the ball off course. It's the old "Hail Mary" pass. You throw this one with your heart not your hand.

Ours is a crucial game too. There is not much time. We've got to go deep. This is not the time for political game-playing. Not the time for superficial connections. The stakes are too high. The opportunity too brief.

Senior executive teams across the country and in every industry are meeting as you read this. Their intention is to call the next play for their organization. Some of these teams have been working together for years, making one crucial decision after another. The question I want to raise is this. "At what depth do these teams connect?" My repeated observation is that many leadership teams operate on a relatively shallow level - a transient and fragmented level that requires interaction only on a political and intellectual basis. It is a relationship built on data and business cases.

"What's wrong with that?" someone will ask. Frankly, it's not that there's something wrong with it - it's just that so much more is available. Operating from a data base is even essential. Just remember where data comes from. All data comes from yesterday. There are no facts about tomorrow. To deal with tomorrow you have only faith. Faith, in turn, requires a different depth of connectedness. Consequently, if the leadership team's job is to take the organization into tomorrow, it must, by definition, have a deeper kind of relationship.

Going deep means that team members also connect on emotional and spiritual levels. It's a meeting of hearts not just heads. Here are a few of the questions that will help open this door for your team:

Do we really know each other on this team? (You will want to answer "Yes" but it is rarely so).

When we meet, is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? (Something magical should happen when you are all together).

Are we truly unhindered in communicating our real thoughts and feelings in the context of the team? (Typically two-thirds of what we think and feel is held back from the group.)

Does most of our intimate, in-depth communication happen outside the team in one on one conversations? (While this seems laudable at first it is actually a sign that the team has not made an in-depth connection.)

Do we have regular discussions about our team itself‹about our individual and corporate behaviour; about our expectations of each other; about how we are developing? (Most teams spend 99% of the time talking about the business and thus avoid talking about themselves.)

When the team learns to connect on this deeper level it begins to experience an amazing degree of freedom, creativity, and productivity. Energy once spent on guarding and positioning is now spent on progressing into tomorrow. That's how the game is won. GO DEEP!

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"Copyright The Ian Percy Corporation."
Ian Percy is one of North America's most inspirational speakers.

Ian Percy is an international speaker and consultant and can be reached at www.ianpercy.com



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