Steve was a young boy. There was a man in his eighties who lived up the street from him.
One day the older man said to him, “Come on into my garage, I want to show you something.” He pulled out a dusty and old rock tumbler that consisted of a motor and a coffee can with a little band between them.
He then invited him to the backyard where they collected some very regular and old ugly rocks. They put them in a can with a little bit of liquid and some grit powder. The old man then closed the can, turned the motor on and said, “come back tomorrow.”
The can made a huge noise as the stones went around inside.
He came back the next day and when they opened the can and took out the rocks they were amazingly beautiful and polished. The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing against each other, creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out as beautiful polished rocks.”
Flash: Teams are like these stones. Individually we can be fairly normal, ordinary and even a bit rough. But through the process of teamwork we can end up in a very different state. Teams may consist of incredibly talented people who are passionate and are working hard towards something may at times bump up against each other, argue, sometimes fight and make some noise. By working together they polish one another and their ideas and in the process create beautiful stones.
Moral: Each member of a team brings something unique. They are unique in their gifts, ideas and arguments. Team members must express themselves without embarrassment or retribution.
Leaders who embrace the process of “tumbling stones” on their teams create more efficiency, better ideas, better problem solving and ultimately better teamwork!!