I have been planning and delivering team building events for companies large and small with Corporate Challenge Events for over eight years now.
In this relatively short period of time, I have seen how team building has evolved and adapted to the needs of clients.
Not long ago team building activities were primarily focused on physical challenges to build team spirit, now there is a greater variety of options with a focus on building a positive team culture.
However, over this time I have observed an element that hasn’t changed as well.
The boss is usually on the winning team!
This is a little secret to all those corporate events planners out there tasked with organising your organisation’s monthly, quarterly or yearly team day.
Get the boss on your team!
It’s not that all the other teams let the boss’ team win, it’s that the boss usually brings the attributes of success into their team.
I have no hard data or research to back this up, it is purely my observation and the observation of my colleagues from delivering team events for a long time.
In most team building programmes that we deliver, we purposely don’t ask or seek out who the boss of the business or group is until the end.
We deal primarily with the person in the organisation who books the event with us, and typically this is an executive assistant, HR operative or office manager.
At the conclusion of the team building exercises when we are introduced to the CEO or boss of the company, we are never surprised to discover they were a member of the winning team.
I would say the boss is in the winning team on about 75 percent of occasions.
Why is this?
Pretty much it is the same reasons why they are the boss – they have strong leadership, experience, communication, strategy, skills and competitiveness.
Sometimes they may be a tad older in the age stakes but that does not lessen the influence they have on their team.
The boss is never the designated team leader in a team building programme, just a member of that team, however they do maintain their competitive instincts to be in the winning team.
Recently we ran a City Scramble team building program in a beachside suburb of a major metropolitan city.
One of the tasks for each team was to collect a tennis ball.
Now this is what the boss did in his team!
He took his team to the only local sport’s store in that suburb and, not only purchased a tennis ball but, purchased every single tennis ball in the store.
The boss thought on his feet to find a solution to the problem. But better than that, he thought of a strategy to set back the competition.
The boss – a problem solver, leader and strategiser!
So I strongly suggest that if you are picking teams for your next team building event, make sure you select the CEO, the Managing Director, the General Manager, whoever is the big boss.
That way the boss can analyse the opposition and contribute strategies to overcome them. You might just learn a thing or two from them yourself as well.
Hugh Sykes, State Manager, Corporate Challenge Events