It had to be 4 AM.
The clanging of metal on metal woke me up. I stumbled to the door and saw Dad putting stuff in the back of his pick up.
“Dad, it’s 4 AM. What in the world?”
“I had to load the fish fryer, gas tank and so on. I’m doing a fish fry for my crew at the mill.”
Dad would fry the fish.
Mom would stay home and make all the sides – fries, hushpuppies, onions and coleslaw. She’d then drive to the mill and deliver to Dad.
Why did Dad do this? Dad knew that a team that plays well together works well together. He was building community among his team. They’d swap stories about fishing, hunting, and tell jokes and make fun of each other. All of this happened over a great meal. Dad knew that great conversations happen over good meals. Great conversations are the foundational building blocks of a highly functioning team. That’s why he went to all that trouble. Dad knew it would strengthen the relationship and lead to a better team.
Be like Dad…spend time with your team making memories and having great conversations. Meals are a great way to achieve this. Talk about family. Share some of your favorite stories. You’ll see friendships being born. Trust will strengthen.
You can’t just be the leader 24 hours a day. Be a person. Have some real conversations. Share some laughs. Make fun of yourself. The team needs to see there’s a real person behind the title and confidence. Your team will be better because of it.
People want to identify with their leaders. They want to see their leaders as people they can become. Slow down and build some relationships.
Be like Dad…take time to make the team better.
Do that and you’ll be on the path to leadership endurance.
Brian Sanders serves as Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. He regularly writes and speaks on leadership topics. His new book, “Leadership Endurance,” can be purchased HERE.