Fun Can Make Your Team Stronger

Increasing the Probability the Team Will Achieve its Goals
Scott Holstein
Brian Rowland|!!| Publisher

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie

Work at our company has picked up and Rowland Publishing is going at a pretty serious pace again. There are a host of new projects to work on and new members have joined the team — and both happenings are good news.

It’s easy to lose perspective when one is busy and moving fast, but the other day Emily, a new member of our management team, shared her excitement at being part of a dynamic team of publishing professionals who care so much about their jobs and the people they work with. It was one of those “wait-a-minute” moments where I realized how fortunate I am to work with people who have such a passion for what they do.

Let’s face it, life at the office oftentimes feels like a Seinfeld episode as certain stressful times bring out a level of humor and commentary that makes you feel like an extra in a sitcom. It seems we deal with a never-ending string of critical deadlines for our publications. And then there are the efforts the team puts forth to help our clients, a continual dance of dialogue, cajoling and reminding as we work to deliver a project that’s as good as it can be.

Humor is the salve that helps relieve the stress of our publishing world, and our team does it so well.

After working under some extraordinary pressure for a few weeks, one member of our team, Caroline Conway — who has organized several social interactions for the crew — suggested we plan a kayak outing on the Wakulla River. Staff, significant others and families were invited to join up for a Sunday on the river.

With one team member nearly eight months pregnant and another not skilled in swimming, I towed my boat to the river, loaded with coolers of food and beverage, and we all set out by boat, canoe and kayak from T-n-T Hide-A-Way’s launch site for a journey through the “real” Florida. Along the way, we encountered a manatee family that was as curious about us as we were about them. For many, it was the first time having a personal encounter with this gentle giant of the river. There were plenty of turtles and at least one alligator sighted.

We made the two-hour journey up the river, lunched on sandwiches together and just spent some time talking about life, family and things totally unrelated to our work. I sat there looking at my coworkers, feeling a special energy and counting my blessings that I have great people to work with.

We spend so much time at work and with our coworkers that I believe making some special out-of-the-office time to enjoy some fun things builds a bond, a team and a “magic” that will help a company find success on so many levels.

Perhaps Rensis Likert, an American educator and organizational psychologist who helped found the Institute for Corporate Productivity, said it best:

“The greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.”

Brian Rowland, Publisher

Categories: From The Publisher, Opinion