November 9, 2005
Being part of a team
One thing I see lacking in the bike ship is the idea that we are a team. Some people suggest that if anyone has an idea they should be willing to step up to the plate and put in the time and do it, or shut up. This mentality negates the idea that no one person can do anything without the cooperation and help of many other people who are effected by whatever it is they are doing. For instance doing rentals of a fleet of 15-30 bikes requires the input and efforts of at least 5 or 6 people and impacts the use of space in the shop. Someone (not the same person) has to work on the bikes, tune them up, check for safety, negotiate and make the arrangements with the group renting the bikes, deliver the bikes, do the billing, pick up the bikes, staff the event or rental, pick up bikes that break down, repair them or replace them, etc. And then if we are doing fleet rentals space is needed to store the bikes when not being rented and someone has to maintain them and make sure they are ready to go. It all impacts the shop, the volunteers and the paid staff. No one person can do things in isolation without the cooperation of others. The first bike rental I did, I felt really isolated. I ended up pulling an all-nighter fixing bikes for the rental. Not a single person from the whole organization, including the president stepped up to help make it happen. It took the help of an outsider to help me get it done. The second rental went way better because I got more people involved in prepping the bikes and repairing and delivering the bikes. Not all one person. Many people were involved and it showed me who the real team is. This is a team effort. So building teamwork is one of the most important tasks we can do. If we are not building teamwork we are actually self-destructing. We are a team and that is one of the aspects of the bike ship I see that needs to be strengthened. There is no denying it is weak right now. But I see improvements. It will change and improve the more we work together instead of just snearing and pointing the finger and blame on why it's not working. Teams figure things out together, not from the top down, but from inside out. Every team member needs to be actively involved in contributing to the team, and not just pointing the finger at the other team members and chiding them for not being part of the team. 'Being' part of a team means we are part of the solution to problems and help the other members of the team be the best they can be.
As leaders of a team it is easy to forget or dismiss the contributions of others and take all the credit. It is also easy to forget we cannot do it by ourselves. Until we find out that there is no longer a team to support us. They've all jumped ship. That is why team-building is one of the most important tasks we have. It effects everyone in the organization.
Posted by carl1236 at November 9, 2005 10:56 PM | Attitude