We were given two simple rules by the referee — which was our own Master Coach, David Ford– 1) The ball has to go over the net and 2) You have to touch it at least three times.
As our teams each got into their own separate huddles, strategies were being devised. There were whispers of, ‘Wait, he didn’t say we had to hit the ball. No mention of not holding the ball. He didn’t say we couldn’t run with the ball.’
We almost felt like rebels defying all the normal rules. After we figured out we could jump on our teammates for height advantage, run, pull down the net, and, at one point, literally tackling the opponents number one player — our referee had to put new rules in place.
Because our culture had to be tightened up, he enforced no more tackling, and no more pulling the net down.
Not only those changes, but one game we couldn’t talk… AT ALL!! Another game, we had to be verbally negative after every hit of the ball, the next game we had to be overly positive after every hit. Don’t even get us started on the game with the deflated ball!
It was exhausting. It was distracting. It wasn’t all that pleasant.
The team captains had to fire a teammate. No big deal? That fired teammate just became the new captain.
A game later, the new captain had to fire a teammate. No big deal? The fired teammates were put in a line-up to be chosen by all the captains that just fired them. Looking at your choices, do you take back the teammate you fired?
What did we learn?
RULES: When you’ve been taught rules, and the rules are the rules, how do you get your brain to think outside of the rules? You know, the rules that box you in, the rules you make up on your own, the rules you’ve been conditioned by industry standards. When you think about it, most are just false rules. Like, we can’t market like that because…, we can’t change what we’ve always done because…, our sales process can’t include that because…, we can’t include that in our services because…
LEADERSHIP: As team captain, what did you base your firing on? Did you take volunteers? Were you afraid of hurt feelings?
CULTURE: Do you have one in your business? Sure you do. But, did you create it or did you let others create it for you?
BEHAVIOR: Games are a reflection of your behavior; how you behave in a game is a reflection of how you behave in life.
Most importantly, have FUN doing what you’re doing. If you’re not, then something has to change.
This day was all about using a life adventure to apply to our business to become better leaders.