Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tom Rancich on Teamwork

Look who came to visit Team Perfect! Teammates, for those of you who don't know him, former SEAL Tom Rancich was the first guest blogger on CHARLIE MIKE. Tom and I go way back! I met Tom during BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training. I was class leader of BUD/S Class 181 but was pulled out for medical reasons and rolled into Class 182. Tom was the class leader of BUD/S Class 182 – when I came in halfway through as the assistant class leader. Tom was pulled for medical reasons but I was secured. And the story Tom tells is that he was the one to get my guys into shape, thus making my job ever so much easier!

And here we are, years later, and Tom's still making my job easier. As longtime Perfect Fitness teammate Nancy in NC said, "SEALs are all about teamwork [] Any tips on team building and motivation?" Tom Rancich was and is the best leader ever -- that being said, I'm re-running a blog from him on Teamwork -- thanks brother!

Question from Nancy in NC: So, you and Alden are obviously great motivators. How do you take a group of individuals, with their own self interests and personal goals, and motivate them to work as a team? I'm not referring to exercise here, but more team building at work or in a civic club situation.

Answer: The very first thing to do is to define what your organizational needs are. Very few organizations actually need a true team, or a least a team as I choose to define it--(Team- A group of people who have undergone advanced/ specialized training and been specifically forged into a highly committed, capable, mission specific, performance oriented operational entity).

But rather they need to improve their group performance (again, as I chose to define it. Group- A task oriented compilation of people based on individual skills relative to the projected skills required). Now the reason I define things this way is that I assert that the dictionary definitions are inadequate to properly define the future requirements of the team/group and thus makes achieving that status highly unlikely.

So the first thing that an organization really needs to do is clearly and accurately define what are their:

1. Goals
2. Mission
3. Vision
4. Critical values
5. Organizational imperatives
6. Organizational philosophies

From that start you will have defined the type of people and the type of interaction/communication you need. It is a lot of work, but this will also clearly show how people are to be and most importantly, the benefit to the individuals for being that way.

I have long believed that all SEAL training and operational successes come down to two simple critical values that all SEALs must possess: Never quit, Never leave your buddy. That is the bedrock foundation of everything else we do.

Tom Rancich
Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business that seeks to employ the highly trained and motivated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for work in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology. Their company contributes proceeds to two worthy causes: a fund for the development of adaptive technology that will allow disabled veterans to pursue their desired career path and the EOD Wounded Warrior Fund.

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