Byron's Babbles

The Synchronized Team

Posted in Communication, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development, Relationships, Trust by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on December 22, 2022

“The camp worked together like a synchronized team.” This was the wagon master speaking of the group he was leading westward in Book 2 of Threads West An American Saga: Maps of Fate by the award winning historical fiction author Reid Lance Rosenthal. As I read that line I imagined the pioneers as synchronous swimmers, floating around their wagons, oxen, horses, and cooking fires, practicing marksmanship for those new to firearms, and getting all the important things done. Like, cooking food, greasing and tightening wagon wheel axles, making jerky from a freshly harvested deer, or the myriad of other duties necessary for a very long and arduous journey to be successful. I imagined every person having some role they were particularly good at and then learning new skills as they chipped in and helped each other. A synchronized team, just like in synchronized swimming, consists of differing roles or dimensions that are balanced to ensure success.

In synchronized swimming the choice of music and choreography enhance the team’s performance and highlighting of the best attributes of team members. The wagon master had displayed this leadership skill by building relationships with those he was leading, allowing him to understand strengths, weaknesses, and skills. This allowed him to choreograph each stop to be perfectly synchronized. Everyone had to move together and everyone had to be able function together as a team. Sound familiar? This is what all our teams need to do. So what are the keys? Here’s what the wagon master taught us:

  1. Build relationships
  2. Have a shared vision/goal
  3. Build trust
  4. Create transparency and accountability
  5. Understand each others’ strengths
  6. Communication

Are you serving as a good leadership wagon master?


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