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January 19, 2014 standard

Playing Volleyball is a tradition at the annual company picnic.  It was something I brought back my first year as President, after previous leadership stopped it because they saw it as “just” a volleyball game.  It was a huge win to reengaging the culture and therefore the people in the business.

I didn’t play the first year and one of the teams asked why?

“Well, I said – because nobody asked.”  

So you guessed it, they remembered and asked me to play in year two.  I was honored but worried.   It had been awhile since I played and I didn’t want to hurt our chances of repeating the championship for the team.

It was fun to be back on the court.  It was even more fun as the day went on and we gained momentum, teamwork and ultimately captured the Championship. We celebrated the win, took the team photo with the trophy and posted it to Google and our Facebook pages.

Funny how this photo rich technology has enriched our ability to share news with others and strengthen our connections.  The team said they were excited to have so much attention from the video and photography teams. That hadn’t happened last year.  I guess that is the benefit of having the President on the team.  It was later that night, I learned there was controversy.

First of course, there was the controversy over the win – but that was expected.  The controversy I didn’t expect was what happened when I said yes.  Although they were happy to have the president on the team, they wondered…

Can she play?

How could they ensure a win if their president was a weak link?  Lucky for me, I had a friend who overheard the conversation and said simply, you’ll be fine.  I don’t think you have to worry.  And now they had the evidence to reinforce the feedback of my friend.

It made me smile that day.  And as I retell the story now, it is a great reminder to us all.  As we bring on new team members to our team or as we look at fellow team members, are others asking the same about us?  Are they worried, we won’t make our contribution and they will have to pick up the slack to ensure a win.

Each of us has the power to make our companies and organizations better places, but no one has the power to do it alone.  It is important we all do our part and leave nothing to chance.

This is hard work.

Share your tips and techniques as an organization or as a leaders about how you make sure your teams are strong and reliable….after all the results of your teams serve as a reflection of your leadership.

How do you leave nothing to chance and then follow up to make sure it happens?