What Makes the Highest Performing Teams – Service
Simon Sinek is a researcher, author and public speaker. He set out to discover what qualities produced the best team members and leaders. He spent part of his time speaking with members of the Navy Seals. This group is made up of some of the finest leaders in the world. In order to become a Seal, someone in the Navy or Marines must volunteer to go through a grueling 24-week training known as BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL). Roughly 1 out of 8 people make it through this training, and these are people who prepared themselves for this training. Most voluntarily tap out because the training is either too emotionally or physically exhausting.
Simon asks a simple question of the Seal team members. Who makes it through BUDS and becomes a seal? The video contains the answer:
To reiterate, it’s not who you think. The people who make it through are:
“Every single one of them that makes it through – when they are emotionally exhausted, when they are physically exhausted – someway, somehow, they are able to dig down deep inside themselves to find the energy to help the person next to them – service – giving to another, having their back, is what makes the highest performing teams in the world – not their strength or their intelligence – it’s their willingness to be there for each other.”
Joe’s Perspective: I’ve been watching this clip on Youtube for years. To me, it’s an amazing revelation. We have all these beliefs about how someone becomes successful or how someone becomes a leader… and they are all wrong. It’s like the lecture in the Character Development and Leadership Curriculum on how people get hired, promoted and fired. It is not what you think. The same is true in this scenario. Simon has discovered that it is not your intelligence or skill set that makes you a great leader. He is saying it comes down to one simple trait – service. In other words, selfishness or arrogance are the worst traits of a leader. It’s about your willingness to recognize the needs of your team and help them when times get tough.
Your Turn: On a scale of 1-10, how willing are you to sacrifice for and serve your team members (family, sports team, class)?