Celebrating the ‘I’ in Team

By , Small Business Speaker, Writer & Commentator - Supporting Those Going it Alone

Solo-E Certified Solo Entrepreneur Expert

Robert Gerrish - Small Business Speaker, Writer & Commentator - Supporting Those Going it Alone

As I was reminded recently, it’s a myth that successful teams don’t accommodate the individual. Focus on the soloist and you’ll create the strongest team imaginable.

Recently I came across a fascinating story where sports scientists and designers worked alongside young Olympians to explore how tiny changes could make a difference to performance outcomes. What I learnt translates well into the competitive world of business and hopefully rids us of that annoying “there’s no ‘I’ in team” cliché.

The purpose of the collaboration was to see whether even the minutest tweaks to training regimes, equipment and clothing could influence race times and the all-important medal-count.

It undeniably looks intimidating when a team of rowers sit in their craft, dressed precisely the same, using the same oars and perched on identical little fibreglass seats.

An impressive team? Definitely. Winners? Maybe.

“As business owners – whether flying solo or as part of a small team – we do ourselves no favors if we diminish the role of the individual by doing what’s expected or what everyone else is doing. “

While Olympic regulations demand a high degree of uniformity, the designers realized was there was some leeway when it came to precise manufacture of each oar, and indeed each seat.

By studying the movement of the individual athlete and observing their natural posture, the designers manufactured bespoke equipment.

The impact for each rower was minuscule, but the outcome for the team had the ability to change bronze to gold.

Want more articles like this? Check out the working alone section.

Next they looked at training regimes and diet. Historically teams do much the same training at the same times and pretty well consume the same food and supplements.

The scientists did away with all that and gave each person far greater input into what felt right. Some trained later in the day, some earlier. A few ate less, some more. And yes, you can guess the result.

As business owners – whether flying solo or as part of a small team – we do ourselves no favors if we diminish the role of the individual by doing what’s expected or what everyone else is doing.

We are agile enough to design our own ideal working conditions and business, and the reward is gold.

What little change have you made recently that has noticeably impacted an outcome? Tell all and you can run round the stadium while we all applaud.

Pick Robert’s brain in his new course, Work your way – The complete guide to going it alone in business!

Robert Gerrish is the founder of Flying Solo (based in Australia) and host of the Flying Solo Podcast. Alongside his role as Head Honcho, he presents at conferences & events and bangs on to the media about all things micro. Along with Sam Leader and Peter Crocker, he's the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

In 2017 Robert distilled his 20+ years of experience as a Solo Entrepreneur into a truly comprehensive - and easily digestible - program: Work your way - The complete guide to going it alone in business.

© Copyright 2017 Robert Gerrish
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