It is May and it brings three bank holidays and lots of fun. Certainly, the first coronation for most of us and all the glorious pomp that Britain does so well. We will all have our favourite moments, but I think for me the Ascension Choir being the first to sing gospel at such an occasion was wonderful. I also loved that women were everywhere: as part of the military contingents, as musicians, and the three female bishops. Wonderful to see them taking their places by virtue of their professional expertise. The drone generated light display at the concert was wonderful and it was a delight to see the King enjoying himself so much.
So, what am I thinking about?
The different types of communities to which we all belong.
It all started with a visit to the Welsh National Opera Company’s production of Blaze of Glory. It is a fascinating story of a small Welsh community based on coal mining. Everyone knows everyone and their history. Nothing can be hidden. The story grows out of the need for the community to find its happiness again after a nasty pit accident and loss of life. People care about the sad atmosphere in the village but also the miner who blames himself for the accident. After grieving they set out into the future through a new choir. Being Welsh the aim is to win the eisteddfod.
The counterpoint to this was all the heat generated by Dominic Raab’s management style. There are big questions about what acceptable behaviour in a work environment looks like and what it is not. How should people be treated both in public and behind closed doors? What are appropriate standards of performance and what are not? I kept asking myself about motivation and leading people to achieve objectives.
Moving forward three weeks we arrive at the Coronation weekend. There has been so much talk of the King’s life up to now. Things perhaps we knew but we had forgotten. The actor at Cambridge; the trainee naval officer; the helicopter pilot; the ship’s captain; the commitment to parachuting because he became Colonel in Chief of the Parachute Regiment. The man who understands and appreciates music; drama; poetry; performance. The man who gardens, paints and loves the environment. The man who established the Prince’s Trust and has helped millions of young people through it. The man who went to Tottenham five times after the riots and set about helping. Now my intention in saying all this is not slavish appreciation of the King; though having been a mentor in The Prince’s Trust I admire his vision and commitment. It is about saying that in all our lives we inhabit different communities. We play our part in different ways depending on where we find ourselves. It might be down to us to create a community – maybe a new netball team or a new department at work. It might be our role to lead, or it might be our place to follow and to be a good team member. It might be taking part with enthusiasm in the morning huddle. It might be doing a job but also taking care of our teammates.
So, think about it. How many different communities do you have a part in? Do you embrace it with enthusiasm? Are you the person I am desperate to have on my team?
Take it one step further. What sort of person do you want in your team? I spoke a while back about hearing Tim Peake speak. He talked of technical skill as being a very small part of selection as an astronaut. The important hurdles he had to jump were all about team skills, working with people and caring about them. Do you want the same sort of person? I know that the women I wanted on my hockey team were much the same as the people I wanted on working teams I have formed.
It is out of these social skills, commitment and the focus on the needs of the group that great results are achieved and engagement is deepened.
You might be a team player looking for a good team to join or you might be the boss. What is your vision of your preferred community? And do you play your part? Are you a magnet for people who make up a strong community or a successful team?
If you want to be; if you want to promote these ideas at work; if you want to work with someone who understands how hard it can be but how effective; then let’s talk about mentoring; having a supporter to help you look at the situation, unpick the challenges and craft a plan to build an effective community – then why not give me a call. We can talk about your business and what you want from it and your life. I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help them explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. I hope you will be one of them.