It’s a pretty usual Monday morning—waking up to the weekly routine (6am power walk followed by coffee and digging in to the week’s plan, emails, and daily focus time)—except it’s not. I’m wanting to hold on to last week a little longer and savor the yumminess.
Nope, wasn’t vacation. And though we did win a contract (always worth savoring)—it’s not that. Last week was my brainchild for holding the team together spread out by miles, trying to maintain the level of teamwork, collaboration and intentional strong culture we need to succeed and thrive: #TeamWeek at TicketForce.
What began as an idea for an annual week where there is no PTO, and everyone who telecommutes comes to the home office in Mesa, has become a quarterly event that is one of the keys to holding it all together.
At my company, we are nothing if not for our people. And our success requires a high level of working together, collaborating and drawing on each other’s strengths. We’re simply not a business where anyone can be an island or work successfully in a bubble.
#TeamWeek is now the glue that holds it together for another 3 months when we reboot and do it all again. And usually by the time the next one rolls around, I’ll be lamenting about the team feeling fragmented, or we’re just on cruise control and forgetting the big vision. Whatever it is, give us a week together, and we’re back to awesome. Really.
The payoff is huge. But like everything else that has value, it’s hard work and by the end, though reveling in the glow of an amazingly healthy team, we feel a little like a train rolled right over us. Probably why on this one, after the closing night formal dinner, about 10 of us strolled to the bar to prolong the inevitable exhaustion. One had a 5am wake up call for a flight home. Another a drive up the mountain the next morning. And then there was our Executive Admin and me, to whom much of the legwork and planning falls, just needing another round before a weekend of naps.
I could highlight the activities from the week—our first annual Chili Bowl, the hardhat tour of our new building space, or plenty of lunches, happy hours and dinners out. But if #TeamWeek were just about planning activities we otherwise may not do, it wouldn’t be worth the effort put in.
It’s about the magic of concentrated time together in respective teams—productive time, planning, challenging each other, setting in motion and following up on the key projects it will take to get where we are going. (For our team, we’ve just launched into our plan to double our revenues in 3 years). Whatever it may be, this is where the magic happens.
We entered the week with several huge challenges: refining an implementation plan for a new product, restructuring sales territories for an expanding team, communicating a new and bold marketing plan to the team. This is the hard work of success.
What a difference a week makes! I can say for certain that all of the above are now clearly refined. Work that could have dragged on for weeks through video calls is done. And all of it accelerated and made better when you’re in the same room, looking at each other in the eye, and in our case, often laughing our way through some tough stuff.
#TeamWeek is like hitting the pause button on all the regular stuff (it almost feels like cheating), and coming back to it with new eyes. And guess what? It’s all still there. But while we paused, we all got some nutrition, a drink, and recharged the teamwork. The vision is a little more clear. The person sitting across from you or next to you or across the country from you is a little more understood. And we start this week a little better, a little different, a little more connected than we were just one short week ago.
Final note: We’re contemplating new titles at TicketForce. I’m thinking about Chief Executive of Awesome, something that reflects the team I’m amazed I get to work with every day. This morning, on the Monday after, I’m feelin’ it.
-Lynne King Smith, Chief Executive of Awesome
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