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Updated: Oct 30, 2018


As executive teamcoaches, we fly in when team crises occur. But we don't need team troubles to earn a living. No way, there are thousands of opportunities in our area of expertise. Crises will however always be part of our quest to realize high-performance teams, because teams NEED troubles to grow. Say what? Shit hitting the fan is okay?

Like our grandmothers have always told us (in Dutch, you're not drunk): "het moet eerst warren, wil het reeën". It has to be a mess, before you can clean any mess. Otherwise, there's no chance to reorganize and you'll remain on your everlasting ditto track.

Okay, going for the mess then

High-performance teams aren't made in welness centres. We need to work, fall and get our teams back together in full perseverance.

And yes, you get bruised while tripping over your feet. The most important thing is, that you allow yourself and your colleagues to wear shorts when you're bruised. These are the stories to be shared within your team. Adventures and lessons learned.

"Man, did I hit that tree this weekend in my last run!" isn't such a weird thing to share on Monday morning. Why does a business bruise feel different?

Because perfection is trending

Check out the average influencer Instagram profile, and you'll know what we're talking about. No flaws, no pain, only gains. The perfect happiness is shown.

The way to the top? You'll hear about it in interviews now and then. But that bruised human is far, far away now.

We experience teams in which one of the members is still going for the "fake-style". Being perfect, no mistakes on their side, always lobbying and blaming others.

It NEVER works.

To build a true bond, you need to be true to yourself and your colleagues.

Only then, there's someone catching you when you fall. We don't catch showoffs.

Start acting as an example, a vivacious leader. Admit mistakes and the need of help when it's there. You are bound for the real peaks as soon as you and your team are up for this pure collaboration.

Now take a look at these mountains.

Follow the road lingering its way down, right in between these two peaks of nature. Now start in the valley and climb upwards. After conquering both of these mountains successively, we'll ask you this:

  1. Which of the two peaks will take longer to reach?

  2. Which peak will be harder to reach?

  3. Which victory will feel sweeter when achieved?

  4. Which mountain will lure less visitors attempting?

The bigger the peak, the bigger the troubles, the longer and more intensive the route, the smaller the beaten path, but... The sweeter the victory.

Big victories become big when they have cost us a brutal amount of blood, sweat and tears.

The greatest achievements are these in which your team was living on the verge. Having each other's back to survive, work through the nights and solving the impossible.

Teams deliberately choose trouble if they want to put their flag on the highest peaks out there.

So next time your team gets into a crises: breathe.

Take a step back and think of the highest peak you want to conquer. Make sure you solve trouble by reminding team members of your shared goal and the perseverance that's required to get there.

Show them the two mountains above and ask them the 4 questions.

You're up for this peak, Sherpa.

If you are ever in trouble with some loose rocks underneath your feet, remember the following. Long ago, people saw mountains as holy or hostile, there wasn't anything in between. The mountains were never entered, only gazed at. People moved along the flanks, not up them. It was a sacred, scary landscape for many.

Why would people eventually climb mountains? Not because they are made of rock and ice. No, people climb mountains because they are made of dreams and desires.

They are mountains of the mind.

Adventures, flanked by respect. These people replaced mystery with mastery. They even realized cable cars, to share the amazing views with the mass. That's what leaders do. Explore and share.

But there will always be peaks wild and ungovernable. They are there to challenge the real leaders, longing for the unknown. We go out there and head for the fresh peaks. Behind danger stands terrible joy and incredible strength. Risk has become its own reward for the ones going up.