Monday, October 28, 2013

Ti-Anse Team

When McDonnell Douglas and Boeing merged, a Seattle guy explained to me the difference between a “family” and a “team.” I was told a team selects and can remove members.  A family, on the other hand, does not select members and you can never be kicked out.  That made sense at the time, but it made me wonder how a team with the positive attributes of a family would fare.

I got to see those results in practice on my recent Haiti mission.  Our project engineer hand selected very specific people with the skills needed to accomplish the water system and pipeline installation task.  We had an industrial plumber, machine operator, heavy machine mechanic, nurse, interpreter, equipment driver, finance manager, and some strong general helpers.  The team came together during the journey to location (Ti-Anse, Haiti – in the far Northwestern region) and performed their assignments both individually and as a team.  If you were wondering what I brought to the party – it was the ability to organize the group of 64 Haitian laborers and the conditioning to walk 10 miles a day overseeing the pipeline!  Everyone brought something that only they had, but they also acted as a family caring for and helping one another. It was a classic example of putting the task before self.

What are your thoughts on the difference between team and family?  Do you try to merge the tow concepts when you lead?

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