The Marine Corp’s training is famous for its difficulty and impeccable results in just a few short weeks. 84 days of brutal difficulty. A key element in their training methods is the massive amounts of time and energy they invest in ensuring that new recruits fail. Fail until they can realize that they can’t do it alone. This is when they introduce and encourage teamwork. The results of this training lead to massive dependency on each other which leads to amazing success. When Marines deemed heroes for certain acts performed in battle come home and are interviewed, their response as to the why of their actions is predictably the same, “Because they would have done the same for me.”
That isn’t just humility speaking. It’s exactly right. Instilled in the embryonic moments of their training is the mentality that teamwork is everything. Each person has their own mind, but no one is ever left questioning if someone has their back.
In his book “Leader Eat Last”, Simon Sinek slashes the theory that we have to hire the best of the best and that the bottom 10% should be cut from a company. The reason companies thrive is because the circle of safety and knowledge that someone is watching out for you permits you to go out of stress mode, and into mass productivity mode. With a circle of safety and good teamwork, there is no bottom 10%.
This is the result of your everyday effort to have someone’s back. To make sure that they know that you know where they’re at and how they’re doing. That circle of safety will produce more than any pay raise or the threat of being fired ever could.
The dividends of good leadership are priceless.
For the past month, we’ve talked about reducing bullying, vulnerability and building bridges through being there for each other. This all leads to a circle of safety that is the very goal of leadership. This is not a call to warm-fuzzy, everyone gets a trophy behavior when I refer to the ‘circle of safety’. This is bottom line psychology founded in one of the bedrock theories of human behavior, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When someone feels that they are in a safe environment emotionally – risk, creativity, engagement, and results skyrocket. When they do not…well you can guess what the converse is.
Good luck this week!