pulling together

December 15, 2008 at 8:01 pm | Posted in Professional Development | Leave a comment

In the movie “Miracle” about the 1980 US Hockey Team’s unlikely winning of the gold medal, a scene takes place where head coach Herb Brooks is picking his players during tryouts.  Assistant coach Craig Patrick is watching with some confusion based on the picks.  The scene’s dialog is as follows:

Craig Patrick: You’re missing the best players.

Herb Brooks: I’m not looking for the best players, Craig, I’m lookin’ for the right ones.

I recalled this scene as I’ve been thinking a lot about teams in the face of this economy.  Good ones, bad ones, the kind of people we need on them, etc.  And I was reminded of something I did many years ago in my first “real” job as a co-op (intern) student.  I needed the co-op to complete my degree and I was bound and determine to make a good impression.  Technically, I did.  In spades.  But then I still vividly can recall a day I’d love to take back.  It was 1992.  Times were tough and cuts were on the horizon.  Our team huddled around our manager as he gently prepared folks for what was coming.  Never one to miss an iconoclastic moment back then, I said something to the effect of: “what’s the big deal?  If you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough.  The company’s gotta take someone so step up and get it done, or you get cut.”

I was 22-years-old and fresh out of five years of college football that bred (by design) the exact attitude I just conveyed.  Yet this group of husbands, fathers, mothers, and wives looked at me with disdain and shock.  Several were visibly angry but nobody said anything directly to me about it. (Likely because they thought I was just so ignorant that I wasn’t worth their time.)  I wish someone would have.

As we pull together as teams through this economic crisis, we need to be there for each other.  What a chance to grow!  If we’re more on the conservative side and always hoping for status-quo, this is our time to be pushed out of our comfort zone.  If we’re more on the aggressive, damn the torpedoes side, this is our time to learn some empathy and compassion towards those that aren’t.  Never was there a better time to celebrate the diversity of talents all around us and find out what people have to contribute.  I believe those that push, encourage, and help each other in the true spirit of teamwork will emerge from this incredibly strong and ready to build the future.

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