Rule 33

September 24, 2016 — Leave a comment


At a RallyEngine team meeting the other day I was reminded of something I posted over 11 years ago at my Creative Generalist blog. It was a post about the essential ingredients of teamwork – true teamwork – called Rule 33. It seems to have endured the test of time, and I still subscribe to this particular rule. I post it again here:

Anybody who has ever been a part of a well-functioning team — I mean a truly strong team – knows that feeling — when the parts gel as a unit… when a glance communicates an idea… when shared purpose mounts to shared achievement… when you reach points you could never reach alone… when everything just clicks. It can, fleetingly, happen at the grandest of scales (in communities, maybe even nationally) and in the smallest of relationships (marriage and couplehood) but most commonly — and it’s really not that common (in fact, most people probably have no idea what it really is and may never experience anything beyond lonely solo work or frustrating group blobwork) — it happens in sports and in business. True teamwork. It’s probably the best feeling on earth to know you’re a player in a group that gets it, gets each other, and that’s swinging in unison to hit their goal.

It’s that elusive feeling that I try to find in all of my group endeavours. And, from good experiences and bad, I’ve concluded that it boils down to just a handful of “rules”. I think of these rules as a whole, appropriately enough, and I refer to them reverently as Rule 33.

Rule 33 is really quite simple. It goes as such: There are three things that a strong team absolutely must have and there are three things that a strong team must absolutely do away with. 3 and 3. Like I said, simple.

A strong team must consist of a bunch of incredibly talented individuals
who understand their role and everyone else’s roles within an organization
and who work their asses off to get done whatever it is they do.

Conversely, a strong team absolutely cannot accommodate idiots, slackers, and big egos.

That’s it. Your team is soaring if it has all of the first three things and none of the last three things.

In a nutshell:
Talented Individuals – people who are already themselves capable and driven
Understood Roles – it’s a concert, a symphony, a fastbreak…the interaction and passing is what counts here
Hard Work – anything worth accomplishing requires effort, lots of it
No Idiots – just don’t hire dumb people, leave them for the competition
No Slackers – everyone must be firing on all cylinders, get rid of the deadwood
No Primadonnas – check your ego at the door, cause nobody’s bigger than the project

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