Who’s Really On Your Team??
As you go through life, there are times you want to celebrate and times you need support. There are the moments you just have to pick up the phone to share the triumphant win you just had, and then there are other moments where you need to emotionally collapse in the arms of someone because of the devastating loss you experienced. There have been days you needed to get feedback, bounce ideas off someone, get some clarity about making an important decision, or get a nudge to take action when you’re facing fear or discomfort. In fact, when did a day pass where you didn’t need to do at least one of those things?
We’ve all been there. And we’ve all reached out to someone during each of those times. Who did you reach out to? Were they on your team? Really… was it a friend, or someone on your team? Was it a family member, or were they really on your team? There’s an important distinction. What could it mean to you?
The Concept of Having a Team
A team is generally defined as a number of people sharing some joint action. We see teams frequently in sports, and you might even be a part of a team in your career. Teams are usually able to accomplish more together than any one of the individuals could have achieved on their own. This is called synergy. When you think about it, there are teams literally everywhere. Governments are made of teams, families are teams, and each of our individual cells all have “teams” involved, making them work. Even the simplest of structures… the Atom… has a team working in it – a team made up of a certain number of protons, neutrons and electrons – and the make-up of the team determines its role. It’s safe to say that teams are a core part of how the Universe works.
Most people would naturally define their team as, “family, friends, &/or co-workers, etc.”. These are the people who fall into that role by default. Who else would make up your team, right? The source of your team members is not in questions, but the method by which they became a part of your team and more importantly, the role they play on your team, requires inquiry. You might be thinking to yourself, “Method? What method? I don’t have a method, they just are. You don’t pick your family. You don’t often pick your co-workers, right? And they play the role they play… what do I have to do with that?” This is precisely the point.
There is no method. There are no roles.
Having no method, no roles, means there is little to no thought about it. This means that the people on your “team” are there by default and operate by default. How many sports teams would ever win if the team was put together with no thought, no strategy, no methodology and no one had an assigned role? Zero. What happens when, at the cellular level, yours or my cells stray from their designated strategic roles or they bundle together with a different methodology than originally intended? Deformity or maybe even cancer?
The lesson is that teams put together without a conscious strategy and purposeful thought aren’t going to help us get what we want. That seems like a pretty big gamble considering we only have so much time here to have a life with impact and meaning. And it seems rather unfortunate, when we actually do have a choice regarding who is on our team. Unfortunately, very few people have a personal team built consciously, purposefully and with clear intent.
Have you built a personal team?
The concept of creating or defining a personal team was introduced to me by a friend and fellow coach, Sarah Shah. It’s a concept that can radically change your experience as you pursue big things in life. It will be instrumental in getting what you want, and will also aid in eliminating much of the drama, reducing negative emotion, freeing you from being stuck, and propelling you forward at a much quicker rate.
So, what’s a personal team, if it’s not simply your family, friends and co-workers?
A Team’s True Purpose
A team is a carefully and consciously constructed group, put together with the precise intent of achieving an objective in a unified, effective and supportive manner. The ultimate objective is set by the identified leader with the support of the team.
With this in mind, we can add a few new thoughts, as it relates to the concept of a personal team. A personal team is a group of individuals carefully and consciously selected by you, put together with the precise intent of helping you to get what you really want in a way that aligns with your values, is congruent with your priorities and supportive of who you want to be as a person. Your personal team provide the following:
- They remain free of their own agenda
- They are in true service to you and each other when called upon to play
- They help you get and remain clear about what you want
- They don’t get wrapped up in your story
- They stay aware, notice, listen
- They acknowledge
- They give feedback
- They celebrate along with you
This is what a personal team is all about. If one or more of these elements are missing from any member of your team, it’s like trying to cross a lake in a boat filled with holes. And, the vast majority of people around you – I can assure you – don’t fit this description. I’ll even go out on a limb and guess that…
Chances are, you have a pretty shitty team.
That is a difficult thing to put in writing. I realize I may piss some people off by saying that. You’re probably pretty attached to your friends, family and co-workers. But, I’m okay with that. I’m more interested in you getting what you really want. Understand, however, that I am not saying they are shitty people. I’m just saying the people you consider as members of your team probably don’t really fit the description above. If they have their own agenda, don’t help you get or keep clear, get wrapped up in your story, or worse yet, wrap you up in their story, etc., the fact is – they make shitty team members. So, I want to challenge you to make a list of those people you consider as your team, and give some consideration to whether or not they belong on your team.
For Those Who Don’t Make the Team
What if you find that a friend, partner, spouse or co-worker doesn’t belong on your team? Don’t worry. Your relationship with them doesn’t have to change, only what you communicate with them about does. What this means is that you no longer utilize them as support to get what you want. This doesn’t mean they can’t support you, but you will not be looking to them as that support. Whereas in the past, you may have sought their input on your goals, feedback on a decision, someone to bounce an idea off of… now, you’ll just talk about stuff other than those things. It’s a lot more simple than you might think. There are plenty of other things to dish about, laugh at, comment on and get wrapped up in. Talk about that stuff. And if they throw their two cents in about something you’re doing (by the way, this actually reinforces that they’re not qualified to be on your team), don’t resist, don’t react. What I often do it say, “Hmmm, maybe!” Or, “You could be right.” And another great response that works wonders is simply saying, “Hmmmm, I don’t know.” One of these responses will no doubt fit the situation, allow you to acknowledge the other as having made a statement or asked a question, and dignifies them as having attempted to contribute, without you having to truly engage in it. And, it doesn’t make the other person wrong in the process, which keeps the relationship in tact.
Are you struggling with the person you have in mind not qualifying for your team? Maybe you’re thinking, “But it’s my spouse! I love them! How can my own spouse not be on my team?” Let’s be clear. Just because someone isn’t on your “team”, doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It just means they are not the best person to help you get what you want. This is actually quite common. That’s one reason why coaches are able to get such great results with their clients – a coach (I might throw out a distinction – a good coach) is someone who fits the description above – this is the kind of person who is truly on your team. It’s extremely challenging for family and best friends to be on your team if for no other reason than they often have their own agendas. Personal agendas of friends and family members are really challenging to set aside. What you do, the choices you make, and who you are may deeply impact them in one or more ways, which may influence them and therefore they pick up their own agenda, which disqualifies them from being on your team. If they remain on the team, it becomes warped and can derail you from getting what you really want. Not qualifying for your team doesn’t make them less, or wrong, or bad. Are you seeing the difference?
This is probably a good time to mention that it’s unnecessary to tell people who is on your team, and who is not. Most people don’t understand what a real personal team is anyway, so it wouldn’t make sense to them. And, if they aren’t on your team, but they are close to you, it would probably really hurt their feelings. (By the way, their feelings being hurt is another clear indication that they get wrapped up in story, aren’t truly in service to you, and carry their own agenda – their reaction would disqualify them anyway. Funny how that works.)
For Those Who Do Make the Team
If you have one or more people who clearly fit the qualifications mentioned above, congratulations! Now, you can be more purposeful about how you utilize them as a member of your team. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. They won’t even know they are members of your personal team. You may share your “personal team” concept to them privately if you feel the need, letting them know what it means to you, but I don’t always recommend it. The only action you need to take at this point is to ensure that these individuals are the ones you go to as you pursue big goals. These are the ones you engage as support when you’re stuck, when you need clarity, when you’re tangled in your own ‘stuff’ or story, when you feel fear, want to make a big decision or carve a new path. If they really qualify as members of your team, it’s likely they won’t need to be told how to support you, but doing so may help them give you the support you really need.
If You Don’t Have a Personal Team, You’re Playing a Small Game
You don’t need a team to put salt on your scrambled eggs. That’s a small enough “game” you can go it alone. You also probably don’t need much of a team to keep doing what you’ve been doing. How do I know? Cuz you’re doing it already.
You need a team when you’re ready to play a BIG game – a game that’ll change everything. And by “game”, I mean being, doing and getting what you really want in your personal life, professional life, business, philanthropic efforts… you name it… you can leverage your team in one or all aspects of your life. You need a team when, what you really want
to do, scares the pants off you. When you think about going after what you’re really passionate about and the thought of it seems impossible, but you realize it’s what you were put here to do – that’s when you need a team. When you’re ready to get to what’s next; when you’re determined to do something that makes a difference; when you decide to truly made a contribution; when you decide that you can’t just sit there and accept your current situation anymore – now you need a team.
And if you feel that the only game you’re qualified to play is a small one – maybe you need a team then, too – a team that’ll kick your ass, ‘cuz you have way more potential than that, and you know it. I know it. They’ll know it.
If you have a team, make sure they’re qualified.
If you don’t have a team, get one.
If you still aren’t sure or need help identifying your personal team, call me.
Your own personal team draft starts…………. Now.
(Leave a thought or comment about this post below. Your thoughts are deeply appreciated. As a thanks for doing so, I’ll send you a very special gift – a 1-page Manifesto I’ve just created which includes 11 keys & 8 principles that will help you create the joy, fulfillment and awesomeness you desire in every moment.)
Thanks Steve, I'm in my first Mastermind group and it's been so illuminating to see and learn and get humble to what's needed. This really helped.
Love and light,
Hey LanaEqualityPhillips ! You left a comment! It's very appreciated.
You present a really common struggle - you're not alone. Fear stops us all at one point or another... sometimes repeatedly! I'll share a few thoughts that might help you move forward, as they've helped me and others.
First, the fear your feeling is a sign of two things - Number one, it means your probably on the right track. When you really want to do something and it makes you uncomfortable, this is a sign that it's exactly the step to take. Note: the benefit of taking the step might not be from the direct result you get. The benefit might come from what you learn by taking the step to begin with. Number two, your fear is a signal that you may be attached to the outcome; if you weren't, what would you be fearing, right? I could guess and say perhaps it's the potential rejection that you fear? If so, see the next point.
Second, the reason we often don't take action is because we caught in our story. I don't know if it's true for you, but it has been for me and others many times over. Notice your thoughts - when you think about asking, and the possible or likely results you're expecting, what story do you tell yourself? The only truth, if you ask, is that - you asked, and they said yes or no. That's all. Everything else is story. When you let go of the story, and center in on what's true, it becomes a lot less scary.
Third, when I'm in a similar situation, I often ask myself how the worst case scenario will be different than where I am right now. In your case, right now you don't have a team. What's the worst case scenario if you ask the folks you have in mind? They say no. At the end of the day, you're in the exact same scenario - no team. You're no further ahead nor behind. So, how will taking action move you in the wrong direction?
I could go on with more tools, and will if you would like me to, but for now I'll leave it at that, and see how it lands. Does any of that land for you?
I will close with this... sometimes we don't take action because we don't feel safe, or we aren't clear. The safety you need and want comes from you, and the Divine. But, it will also feel unsafe if you approach these folks out of the blue, asking them to be on your team. Safety is built through intimacy, connection and trust. Build those things with these individuals first, and the safety will naturally arise. And, be sure, if/when you approach them that you're clear about what you're looking for, why, and how they might be able to support you. It's not a bad idea also to be curious about how you might be able to be in service to them too.
Again, thanks for the comment! Keep us informed on your quest to build your personal team, will you?
I need a team because I am ready to go big, but something is getting in my way. Fear of asking people whose message I know I align with. Waiting for the bigness to overcome the fear, and not sure how to make that happen!
This article has some amazing points with a really beautiful message, we all need a team that will build us up to be the person we are meant to be. When I read through your article it really made me think of the times in my life where things went well and who I listened to and when they didn't who I listened to, and the pattern is completely there. Thank you for sharing this with us, I look forward to applying this message more deliberately in my life.
Infpalex Thanks Alex. Love the thought of being the person we are meant to be. We really do need those people that align with that. They don't have to be, or want to be, the same as us, but they give us the room to be us, and support us along that path. Beautiful. :)