Happy New Year!
Thank you for your continued support of PlayTime Inc.’s Teams & Leaders Newsletter! What a 2003 we had! We flew to Virginia, Santa Monica, San Diego, Las Vegas, Florida, Canada (eh!), San Francisco and our lovely hometown of Seattle.
The response has been tremendous for our GeoTeaming program and we’re looking to grow 50% or more this year while providing even more people team and leadership skills through technology and adventure.
Meanwhile, as with all journeys, there were challenges. Intense flight schedules, time away from home, equipment failure and non-cooperative weather. It’s the true mark of our team that we provided such high customer service under challenging conditions.
In addition, I had a personal challenge with a family medical emergency. If it was not for my closest team, my family, my brothers and sisters, and my extended family, that I would not have survived 2003. This month, I write about how your family can be a great model of team and how Mom’s are the ultimate leaders in this month’s Team Tips and Leadership Lessons.
I wish you all the best in 2004, I hope you set outrageous goals, and most importantly, I hope you enjoy the journey along the way.
CEO & The Big Kid
PlayTime Inc. – Creating Life-Changing Adventures
Team Tip: It Takes A Family, Your Family As A Model For Team
The phone rings and you pick it up like every other call. There is a momentary pause...the kind of pause you know about...this is no ordinary phone call...something is about to happen...a big piece of news is about to hit you like a ton of bricks.
When was the last time you received one of these phone calls? Do you remember where you were? How you were breathing? What sounds were around? And did you remember that feeling as the news was delivered?
I received one of these phone calls last year. My mother was in the hospital after she was found by a neighbor, unable to get up. She had been to a doctor and was now being sent to a specialist. Nobody knew anything, just that it was serious.
A few days later, finally we had some news. My mom had been diagnosed with "Acoustic Neuroma", a benign brain tumor that starts in your ear cavity and in this case, grew so big to touch her brain stem and affect her motor skills.
We had seen some signs, some clues, but she was always too stubborn to go get it checked out. I am the last of 5 children and the communication chain was in full gear. Cell phones, emails, group aliases all gave daily reports on the status. It was amazing to see the teamwork of all the children plus extended family jump into action.
Once a foreign word in my dictionary, now I knew what "Acoustic Neuroma" was as we traded websites and researched all the information available. One took care of mail while another checked out finances. The oldest sister took care of doctor appointments while another took care of shopping for a walker on eBay. As a family, as a team, we pulled together with the common goal of getting mom better. It was and is a tough road, mom spent over 4 weeks in the Intensive Care Unit, is finally in a rehab facility where she is on the road to recovery. Our family continues to work together to give our mom the best chance possible.
The one belief I’ve grown up with about family is that they are there to stay. While my friends come and go, my family is always going to be here, whether I like it or not! ;-) I’ve had many managers who view their team as their family.
We all know there are challenges with family as a team model with all the “dysfunctional” families that exist, it’s a fascinating topic, but I think that’s a whole other newsletter and I’d like to keep this one upbeat.
Imagine if you had the confidence to know your teammates were as loyal as your family, that you know they would be there when you needed them most? Imagine if your team cared for each other like family? What rituals or practices do you have that makes your family strong? What can you do today to make your team more like family? What do you need to do today to make your family more like a team?
I’m going to visit my mom on Feb 14th (Valentine’s Day!) and I’d love to bring her letters of encouragement. If this story has moved you and you feel it in your heart to help support her and her team, please reply and share a few words of encouragement or perhaps a positive story of your family handling a medical emergency. I know the one thing that will help her most is to ensure she has HOPE that she will make a full recovery.
By the way, you too should learn about Acoustic Neuroma. If someone you know begins to lose their hearing, make sure to ask about Acoustic Neuroma. For more information, check out this link who provided excellent information for us when we knew nothing.
Leadership Lesson - Mom’s Rock: Motherhood as Leadership
This Leadership Lesson is dedicated to my mom, Hannah Chen and of course, my lovely wife, Whittnee. Now, I’m no expert in this particular lesson except for what I can observe from the outside, yet I think from the outside I have some interesting observations.
Moms are incredible leaders for the following reasons:
* They are unbelievable multi-taskers
* They handle incredible work loads and constant demands
* They facilitate the most intense conflicts (ever see a 3 year want something?)
* They manage large budgets
* Quite often they do it themselves
* And most importantly, what leadership task is more loaded than your kids. Your flesh and blood, the future generation. Work pales in comparison to the responsibility of being a mom.
I think one of the moments I had the most appreciation for my mom was after the birth of my third child, Kelson. Now, the two parents can longer play 1-on-1, it’s about zone defense and staying just above the chaos that can ensure. I thought about it one day as I struggled to manage everything going on, when I suddenly realized, I’m the last of 5 kids. How did my mom do it? If fact, it was so important that I asked her the next time I saw her. She said, “I just did what was most important now and ignored many of the things that weren’t important. And look, you five all turned out fine.”
You know what, she’s right! What a simple but wonderful concept for leadership. What leadership qualities do you see in moms? What can you learn from them to improve your leadership qualities? What is something simple that your mom did that you can do today to help someone else?
So, the next time you hear someone say, “I’m just a mom”, sit up straight or stand up and tell them they are a leader. Remind them about how much they do, about how much they have on the line, and how much what they do matters to the world, not just now, but to all the future generations to come. Compliment them for all they do and hopefully you’ll leave a smile on their face, viewing their day-to-day life of carpools, laundry and soccer as a Leadership Academy.
Do yourself a favor, send your mom or your best friend who is a mom an award and remind them how much it means to be a mom by clicking on the link below. (We are not affiliated with this site and they do ask you for sign-ups, just click them off and send your award.)