The practice of greatness
The Nasa Juno mission arrived safely into its orbit around Jupiter. Nearly five years of travel and over eleven years of planning went into that moment. The culmination of hard work, dedication and brilliance of the Nasa team working towards a single goal: To understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Upon receiving the signal from the Juno Spacecraft that its arrival was successful the team rightly celebrated – more memorable quotes entered into space exploration folklore.
“Nasa did it again. That says it all to me. And I’m so happy to be part of the team that did that. I mean this team has worked so hard and we have such great people. And it’s almost like a dream coming true right here. The mission team did great. The spacecraft did great. We are looking great. It’s a great day.” – Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator.
Now for most teams, the goal won’t be quite so grand; the impact not quite as significant. Though should the celebration of success be any less important? Every day when we go to work, we should know what goal we’re working towards – what difference we’re going to make and our how we’re progressing against our target.
Whether your team is working towards a weekly sales target, is managing against key performance indicators or service levels, or is delivering against time, cost and quality metrics, the importance of ensuring that everyone understands the goal and the role they play in achieving it shouldn’t be underestimated. If you’re leading that team you have the responsibility for making it great.
“We did it again” – a great team delivers time after time. Nasa didn’t send Juno off and check back on its progress after 5 years. Every step of the way, every action, every moment was carefully managed by the team – with corrective action being taken whenever required to ensure that the trajectory towards success was maintained.
“I’m so happy to be part of the team” – a great team is a happy team. We all have off days, stressful times, personal problems, work issues. If you or any of your team are unhappy you need to address it and work out a solution. Make sure that your team has the things in their hierarchy of needs to stay happy.
“This team has worked so hard” – hard work needs to be rewarded. Appreciation isn’t just about monetary remuneration – a thank you; a lunch time meal; a trip to the park; a drink after work – reward your team and they’ll reward you.
“We have such great people” – building a great team is much easier if you resource it with great people. Take the time to unlock their potential; recognise their strengths and support them with their weaknesses.
“It’s almost like a dream coming true right here” – to make your goal a reality you need to know what success looks like. Make sure everyone knows what is expected from them and let them know how they’re doing against those expectations – do it regularly and often.
“The mission team did great. The spacecraft did great. We are looking great. It’s a great day.” – Reaching your goal should be celebrated as a great day. Your great team got you there. Make sure that they look great to themselves and to others. Celebrate your success together and be proud to shout about your achievements.
Your team might not be going boldly where no team has gone before, they might not be changing the world. Though remember, the practice of greatness involves just one small step at a time.
Source: bryn blog