Re-Ignited (and It Feels So Good)

Summer is drawing to a close, and I am entering the third third of 2022 revved up and raring to go. This summer, and August in particular, brought revelations and renewal in the combination of immersive education and epic adventure. The adventure was found in the amazing large-scale nature of Alaska, and the education in a jam-packed workshop. And I’ve decided this combination – the insights of new information and the reset of new experiences – is a great way to get fired up.

As a decade, the 20s got off to a bumpy start. The pandemic created isolation – stay at home, then work from home, masks and fewer events. At the same time, we were connected to never-ending and constantly changing news cycles and social media echo chambers. The combination left many struggling and sparked The Great Resignation with dramatic impact at organizations.

Our focus for the TeamStrength Leadership Workshop 2022 was all about rebounding from this strange time. We dubbed it ‘The Great Re-Ignition’ and wove a race theme throughout the high-impact day. And our speakers delivered fast-paced learning that energized the room. Dick Finnegan shared daunting data on the changed labor force pointing to a continued challenge in staffing. But he gave us a path forward in a tool specifically designed to build trust between a manager and team member, the number one factor in retention. I expect the Stay Interview process will be implemented in many companies this fall, and I look forward to hearing about its impact.

Dr. Laura Gallaher brought us unique lessons in choice and how many decisions we make every day, sometimes without even realizing it. In raising our awareness of our choices and challenging us to examine the payoffs, she gave each of us new personal insights. Then she offered a glimpse into a positive accountability culture in which each team member and leader is 100% accountable to outcomes and their individual impact without the negative aspect of blame.

The combination could be transformational. More trust between managers and team members leads to higher retention and a no-blame culture of accountability that stays focused on delivering results seems destined to lead to positive growth for TeamStrength member companies.

We were not the only ones traveling this summer, and I think it was also a sign of a positive rebound. People were ready for recreation, and we found ours on an Alaskan cruise. I am not sure what I expected, but I found the vastness of the mountains, glaciers, water ways and wildlife nearly overwhelming. We hiked in rainforests teeming with life, cruised by hundreds of waterfalls, marveled at seals and eagles everywhere, and were awestruck by bears and whales. It was a fabulous reminder of the miracles of the natural world. I felt small and very grateful.

The spectacle of nature was balanced with amazing gourmet food, unforgettable entertainment, and the interesting people we met on the cruise ship. We had caviar and champagne daily, enjoyed first-class shows, and met people from all over the world. It was the longest vacation we’ve ever taken, and we’re still trying to process all we learned and experienced.

My head and my heart are full as we move past Labor Day and get back into the routines of the fall. I am thinking about the importance of building trust with those you work with, the value of asking good questions and really listening to the answers, the role choice plays in our lives and the need to look at our own choices and understand the payoffs, and the concept of 100% accountability with zero blame. And I continue to revisit the vistas and adventure of our travels in my mind. I am reminded of the limited days we have in this amazing life, so I will continue to pursue new experiences with people I care about and then reflect with gratitude on all I learn.