We do…

When you read the title – we do – where did your mind go?

I suspect it may have wandered to the more familiar phrase I do. And its expression in marriage ceremonies.

Actually, anything we do has to start with I do. Not necessarily in the marriage sense, but in the voluntary expression of intent.

I do shows up in a whole number of ways. For example in putting up our hand to join a new initiative, which has some level of risk. Or in stepping forward to take on a new role, or speak up where there is no voice. Where we might be misunderstood.

I do is not passive. And if you want some encouragement to get to grips with doing and not just thinking about it, go check out The Do Lectures.

The Do Lectures are the encouragement network, and they’ve recently started releasing the recordings of previous speakers in The Do Lectures Podcast.

And there’s Seth Godin’s daily blog posts and his brilliant, and provocative Akimbo podcast:

It’s about our culture and about how we can change it. About seeing what’s happening and choosing to do something.

From I to we

If an action that will disrupt the way things are, that will make a difference, starts with us as individuals metaphorically putting up our hand. Where does it go next?

For some people their we is to find a community within which they can thrive. Who will provide encouragement and accountability for their individual endeavours.

This form of we is so important and for those of us who might tend to be quiet disruptors, it’s something we can overlook. Or even feel uncomfortable approaching.

Even if you look at the most solitary of endeavours, take writing, for example. To get your voice out there and make a difference takes more than you can do all alone.

In the Right Company – a global online community with Bernadette Jiwa and Mark Dyck – we recently established an online book writing group. The fruitfulness of having this encouragement and accountability group is astonishing. Each person has encountered a step change, including into areas they weren’t expecting.

Where do you need to make the move from I to we?

We do – what?

However, for many of us, moving from I to we does mean forming or joining a team. Or stepping up within an existing team.

Teams are astonishing. Especially if they are real teams rather than just those who report to the same boss or do the same kind of work.

I love seeing the synergy of teams that have found their rhythm and embrace their diversity. This is where change can become really powerful. And creative.

Things that we simply couldn’t do on our own become reality and have a momentum that is beyond ourselves.

It’s also the place where we can take risks. Not because it breeds recklessness, but because there is the space to experiment.

In part, this is because the spread of the risk is reduced. But also because it can moderate our individual cognitive biases. And we learn so much more when a number of eyes are looking for learning.

Just think about it. Your creativity and curiosity, plus somebody else’s creativity and curiosity, plus somebody else’s creativity and curiosity…

We do – why?

But it’s not enough to get a group of individuals together as a team and hope that they will all pull in the same direction.

I have worked with brilliant teams of extraordinary individuals, who are completely overshadowed by other teams where their lesser collective skills are revolutionised by the joint pursuit of a cause. They are facing in the same direction, together, and they know it.

The ‘why’ is important.

Yesterday I was talking with a performance coach who works with elite teams. Over the years of working with young promising players through to international stars, they have developed a sense of how to look beyond the technical abilities of players to see those who will make the most difference to the team in high-pressure situations.

Interestingly the key differentiator is the motivation. Not the drive that pursues their own satisfaction, but those who sign up to a bigger goal. Something beyond themselves.

We’re back to Simon Sinek’s Infinite Game

I wonder what is really important to you? Where is the change you are seeking to make and who do you need to find in order to realise it?

I’m cheering you on!

Thanks for reading


This week

Together is Better, a simple illustrated storybook by Simon Sinek has been on hand all week. Perhaps this is also why I have been more open to thinking about teams. I hope my little musings have helped you too.