No Weak Links: The Team in Focus

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today, we address Part Three of FIT, the stage when we put it all together. The team in focus is a wrestling team, sopping wet in sweat after a good, hard practice. One of the key principles to getting Fully Integrated Teams is integration. Integration is bringing the right things and the right people together in a dynamic, life-giving combination. This is for the purpose of creating something bigger than you can accomplish alone. You need people and people need you to do this!

Let’s envision how this looks for the wrestling team. A circle forms in the gym with each wrestler joining hands in brotherhood and unity. This is a group of men who push it to the max, a team sustained by hard work and a single ritual. At the end of each practice, the wrestlers shout: “NO WEAK LINKS” from their tightly-knit circle. This winning team gets FIT.

One of our own FIT leaders, Phil Kassel, was part of this two-time national championship wrestling team. He’s exemplified FIT in his own life and understands the champion’s mindset: there are no self-made men. You’re only as good as the guy next to you. Like Phil, this means surrounding yourself with the right people; people who are willing to stretch you, inspire you, encourage you and even hold you accountable.

My friendship with Phil began in the four years he was regional continuous improvement manager at Perdue. While Phil had a comfortable job at Perdue, he knew his sense of purpose was not optimally engaged, as was the case in his leadership role at a church community. There, he found his passion ignited in a new and thrilling way. Leaving Perdue would require sacrifice, but Phil knew it was the right thing to do. He believed in his new calling as a pastor and speaker.

 His story shows us how to find a better personal FIT, a crucial skill from Chapter 9: There are many reasons for finding a new FIT team, and some are inherently positive. Finding a better FIT may mean turning down a good opportunity for the best opportunity. Such a decision is often not popular or understood by others, but to individuals with grit, the transition makes perfect sense. Phil’s job transition required him to sell many of his nonessential possessions and accept a pay cut of more than 70 percent. Yet, individuals like Phil are acutely aware of when to stay and leave, while others may not be so adept in assessing their best fit with a particular company.

While Phil was an excellent team player at Perdue, full-time ministry fulfilled his deepest sense of purpose. FIT was integral in helping Phil transition into a role where he thrives now. Listen to a podcast from Phil about leading FIT in your life and organization now!

Getting the right people on the bus, as Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great, means identifying the shared values principles that will help you reach your desired future state. Identify your strongest links within your organization and intentionally invest in them. Grow and develop the skills of individuals and ensure they are playing in the right positions. Getting FIT provides time-tested principles and practical methods for how to identify and develop your Fully Integrated Team. It starts with you. The people on your team in life will have a great impact on how you perform, how your team performs, and how you accomplish your purpose. You need people and people need you. Build a team of National Champions like Phil and eliminate weak links. Unleash the power of Fully Integrated Teams in your life and pick up a copy of Getting FIT today!


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