Don't be that guy
Responsibility is a bitch. You have to own your commitments and live up to them no matter what. You won't always have the bounce in your step or connection with the process, some days are going to be hard. Other days you are going to be fired up, filled with passion, and excited to have a purpose. You have to be prepared for all the days, good, bad, or indifferent.
I am sure you have been here. You are laying in bed early on a Saturday. There is a team practice today, but you are not getting ready for anything. Maybe you went out last night. Maybe you just don’t want to train today. You know you should because the guys that need you were there for you when you needed them. Here comes the kiss of death - you tell yourself that the rest of the team will be there, you won’t be missed.
The above scenario happened with every guy on the team. Now, the people that need the partners are standing alone waiting for a bunch of individuals that forgot what a team is. We have all stood alone and we have all gone back to bed or the beach. It is what it is, wrong but a very common experience.
As a leader, it is my job to keep people connected with their responsibilities in order to minimize the days where we are standing alone. The job is to get us to stand together as much as possible. This comes down as much to my ability to lead as it does who I actually choose to lead.
Combat Sports are not a team sport. We train as a team but compete as individuals. We put 1 person in the arena. No matter how many people make up the team, it will always be 1 person doing the work at a time. This has its challenges. We need to function like any other team sport in training, and compete as individuals. Each member needs to do their part to help the team in order for the team to help them in return. It is a complicated balance that more fail to achieve than actually get right.
Ideas are stronger than people. If you want to keep the team together, do not have them rally on you, connect them with an idea. We are all human which means we are flawed. Ideas are greater than our flaws. We will fail as people, this is guaranteed. Our ideas have a consistency and strength that is much greater than our humanity. Create a culture and sense of connection with what you represent as a team, not who you are as an individual. I am a leader that gets a certain level of respect from those I work with. But, I have created a team that can live beyond me due to the strength of the system and what it inspires.
Everything is about relationships. If we focus on our individual needs, the relationships that define our success will suffer. I never named my businesses after myself because the collection of people that makes up the community within the business is more important than me or any 1 individual. I do not get to lead without followers and followers are not followers without a leader. It is a 50/50 balance. I respect that by always making it about us, not me. In doing so, I get mine and the team gets theirs. That is real success.
I am not perfect and the deal situation I am writing about does not fully exist. BUT, this is my daily mission. I do what I can to pull the team together to achieve all of our individual goals together. I care as little as possible about my name and focus on how we represent ourselves to the world as a community. You may not know all the people within our group, but it is pretty clear what we stand for and how we operate.
You want to pack the mat more sunny Saturdays than not? Focus on the ideas that connect.