While celebrating the US Postal cycling team’s Tour de France triumph, I discovered parallels I could apply to a major project at work. We have formed a cross-divisional team, whose team members come with different experiences and skills. We bring different processes but are learning one new unifying process, and have different personal goals to accomplish but have one over-arching unifying goal: the success of the project.
Take heed to the US Postal’s team success.
Without boring those who aren’t cycling fans, the US Postal team assembled a team of specialists with specific roles:
- Coaches and managers to lead.
- Corporate sponsors to provide resources that may bring a victory.
- Hill climbing specialists to grind out the grueling Alps ascents or fly through the descents.
- Sprinters who can hold out for that moment when their bursts will overtake a competitor in the lead, or fend off a challenger.
- Team mechanics to take care of the technology. (Did I mention my brother Vince is one?)
- Soigneurs to take care of the physical health.
Each team member knew their own limits, roles, their team’s expectations, and their overall goal.
Lance may have won a record 6th consecutive Tour, but during post-race interviews, he knew to give credit to the team members that sacrificed their own personal goals for the team.
So team-mates, understand your role and play it to the max. Set aside your own personal goals for the moment, so you too may sip champagne in a victory ride on the Champs Elysses.