I’m probably going to date myself by saying this, but remember the game Red Rover? Two teams would compete to gather members from the opposing teams. We used to play this in gym class or just on the playground when I was in grammar school.
Each team would spread out and hold hands. The two teams would face each other. The team going first would select and call out to one of the opposing team members. “Red rover, red rover, let Mary come over.” Mary would take off running and try to break through the line. If successful, she would return to her team accompanied by an opposing team member of her choice. If she failed, she would remain with the opposing team.
While on the surface this seems like just a silly children’s game, there are some lessons to be learned when it comes to the attributes of any successful team. Let’s look deeper:
- Everyone is facing the same direction and prepared – whether it’s the team calling you over and daring you to break their chain or preparing to receive a runner. I’ll repeat – everyone is facing the same direction and prepared.
- All are on the same page — the strategy is clear.
- Each person knows their mission and what they’re supposed to do – they understand what it means to win and what it means to fail. Individuals who work together and make strong connections, prevent failure.
- Innovation is necessary to keep improving the strength of the bonds, finding different ways to link together to provide resistance from others.
- There will always be opposing teams out there challenging you; daring you to break their chain.
- Finding talent from opposing teams to join you can make you stronger – choose carefully.
- Individuals with no strong connection to your team will be easily picked off by an opposing team.
You see, when we work together, each person puts extra effort into maintaining the connection. Each person brings with them unique gifts and talents. Linking together with others helps the team cover all the bases. And when each member knows their value in the big picture of the team, their contribution, sense of accomplishment, and desire to improve and grow increases.
As the team bond becomes stronger, it attracts others, like a magnet. Outsiders hear and see the sounds of a thriving group of individuals. Each is confident in their own abilities, knows they are an important link in the chain, and works together to increase the strength of the chain. A strong chain equals a strong team.
Moral of the story: never overlook the childhood fundamentals of fair play and teamwork.