Professionals, Pretenders, and All the Rest

Professionals, Pretenders, and All the Rest

I can’t find my desk this morning.


I know it’s somewhere amongst the clutter of bookshelves, bureaus, chairs, and what looks like a dining room table turned on its side – but with the plastic tarps over everything it’s kind of hard to say.


This is home repair week – and even my office hasn’t been spared. This means that if I’m not traveling I am relegated to the local Panera Bread to conduct business.


It’s not so bad really.


The team that has descended on our house to paint and renovate is nothing short of amazing.


They arrive every day on time – to the very minute – and they work with a synchrony that reminds me of a Swiss watch.


I think I had forgotten what real craftsmen are capable of – and how seldom we run across them.


Maybe it’s just dumb luck that as I contemplate their effectiveness I am also finalizing a workshop and follow-up program on High Performing Teams for a client.


I could have pushed aside my research – and just watched – for a better work product.


This crew of six could be used for my next training video.  Here’s why:


The What



  1. Constancy of Purpose. Every worker is clear on what must be accomplished and why. They are resolute in their commitment – and they not only rejoice in their identity as top-flight craftsmen – they embrace it in everything they do. The sign that adorns the side of their trucks is more than words – these are professionals in an industry often times populated by only workers.


The So What


  1. Integration of Effort. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such clearly defined roles for every player – from the home prep to the actual repairs to the follow up. My wife and I marvel as we watch them divide and conquer but with an eye on synergy, not just to “finish my task at hand.” They actually don’t talk as much as I would have guessed  – it’s as if there is a level of intuition at play that makes it all second nature. Aligned – focused – deliberate.


The Now What


  1. Shared Ownership in the Results. Every day at end of day they quietly gather to assess the finished product – consider what must take place moving forward – gather their work tools – and move on. I’ve worked with billion dollar companies who could learn from this small firm’s version of an After Action Review. No individual job is finished until the group’s job is complete. They figuratively (and collectively) sign their work – like an artist completing their latest masterpiece.


The Insights


Great teams, I’ve found, don’t simply fall into place because we want them to. Whether specifically trained to get there or intuitively gifted – each of them seem to embrace the same 3 principles above.


Constancy of Purpose

Integration of Effort

Shared Ownership




I would say more but it appears that my section of the house has now been targeted.


I think Panera has an egg and avocado roll up I haven’t tried.


Maybe I can beat the crowd.




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