Discover more from Marcin Konkel's newsletter
🚀 A non-standard thing that I rarely see in action, that can help move your team from a low-performing to a high-performing one.
Here's the story. I worked with 70+ teams, and the most high-performing weren't those that delivered the most or were the fastest.
Why? If a team delivers crap, it will become a high-performing crap factory. 💩
Thus, apart from excellent teamwork, trust, a safe environment, and great colleagues with high communication skills, there needs to be something added to the equation.
This thing is 👉 DISCIPLINE 👈 and below are 5 arguments WHY.
WHAT kind of discipline?
The courage and stamina to uphold and exercise decisions against all odds.
It's not blindly following a set path or persisting when you should be adapting.
following up on your experiments
building a habit
holding yourself accountable
#1 "Discipline equals freedom" (Jocko Willink)
Building and upholding long-term habits save your energy from the need to make constant decisions and fight the odds each time.
For a team, it means less friction and more space to do the important work.
1/ A team always following up if they solved a problem from a retrospective about reducing the number of critical bugs produced.
2/ A team having purposeful meetings where they all remind themselves when the topic goes off course.
#2 You build empirical evidence
I've seen countless teams that started something new with their process, product or tech but did not have the discipline to take it from A to B.
Discipline helps maintain course and gather necessary data to know what works and doesn't.
How often does your team stick to their improvements?
Do they change them as it suits the moment? Do they really care?
If a team agrees on something yet people are sloppy to implement it than everyone has wasted their time discussing it.
#3 It builds resilience
When team members can rely on each other through a disciplined approach, they are more resilient to external disruptions.
Discipline helps in things the team has influence over but not control.
With persistence, they can influence those areas long-term and create the change they seek.
Those teams have their code of conduct and rules that make them antifragile.
#4 Eases decision making
A disciplined team can focus on the important conversations and work when they build a habit in, e.g. having hard conversations or concentrate on the strategy.
They don't need to experience friction in some areas again and again. It has become the new normal.
#5 Builds character of a team
A disciplined team is focused and not afraid to do the hard work. It has more ease with changing course due to a well-trained skill of changing a habit.
When you meet such a team, you see it's not just a group of people.
Discipline creates the base for many things to flourish:
improvements that actually change something,
Canggu, Bali. Indonesia, Sep 2022
Today’s essay resonates quite a bit with what I’ve seen frequently during kite festivals in Bali, Indonesia. There are 4-5 different kites. One of them is the largest and can weight up to 350 kilograms (yes!) with length up to 50+ meters, at times, covering the whole beach.
I counted around 20-25 people needed to make it fly and land safely. Quite frankly, there is not that much coordination happening as I would expect. To me they are disciplined in a way to follow a plan but also be vigilant on how the circumstances change. Inspecting & adapting but also knowing what’s their role, responsibility and that they need to consistently work towards the end goal - keeping it in the air, making sure it does not crash into another one or into the water.
It’s truly magical and inspiring spectacle. Just see for yourself.
A short video from Jocko Willink about the different shades of discipline, both individual and team.