Team Building through Sports Analogies

I worked at a place where you could have made a great drinking game during our CEO speeches at all-hands meetings just by drinking during each sports analogy.  2 drinks if the analogy was left incomplete!  Only 1 drink if it was totally incomprehensible.

It was like some company-wide team-building activity.  Let’s get some cute mottoes (mission statements?) and a big banner and have a scavenger hunt and then we’ll be a team!  And we’ll win!

If this is what motivates your team, and your team only interacts outside of work during the once-a-year forced (required! mandatory!) team outings, it is not a good signs.  Good teams enjoy each other as both people and as co-workers.  It comes through a respect that each team-member is contributing something useful, management is appreciating the good things being done (with credit being given to the people actually putting in the effort), and any stupidity is noticed and there is a plan to make it go away.  That is the situation where people will go above and beyond to make things successful.

That is why startups are so addictive – this kind of environment is so much more likely than in a big company, where you are likely to be lost in a crowd of mediocrity, abused by a manager trying to make their way up the ladder, working on a project that will never be released to the public, unable to explain what you are doing to anyone not in the industry.

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