We celebrated the life of a great team builder recently. Dr. Carl was 83 years old when he passed away. Carl, as we comfortably called him, was our family doctor for many years who cared for us through minor illnesses and major auto accidents.
The overflowing crowd at the church came from the many circles of Carl’s life. His family including his wife and sister, three kids with their spouses and many grand children laughed and cried at the memories of their husband, brother, dad and grandfather.
And yet the room was filled with friends, colleagues from the medical community, patients like ourselves, members of the police department and members of his local church.
And while we might not consider the hundreds of people at that church today a traditional team, we feel like a team. Carl’s team. What was it about Carl that made us all feel close to each other today, even if we had never met before?
As the pastor began to share, often through tears of his own, he began to emphasize three major traits of Carl that seemed to come through loud and clear over a lifetime:
Humility is the foundation and bedrock of any great leader. We called him Carl. He was comfortable with that. He didn’t insist that it be “Dr. Such-and-such”. It was Carl. He was there to help.
Exhibiting kindness. Carl did not merely deal kindly with you as a patient, but with you as a human being. We don’t give kindness enough credit in building great teams. If you desire a great team, care for them greatly.
“Well, he was working on patience,” as the pastor said, but as you listened to the stories, the impatience was with himself or things or circumstances, not people. He was always patient with people.
We were part of a great team today and it felt good!
Have you thought about humility, kindness and patience being tools of a great team building effect? If you haven’t, you’ll never be a part of that great team.
Tell us your stories about how one or more of these tools have been used (or abused) on your teams.