The importance of synergy for relay teams in management and sports

Lynda St-Arneault – February 1, 2013

As I write this blog post, I’m leaving my comfort zone as I write about management rather than B2B marketing.

As an entrepreneur at the head of a growing company, I try to understand its strengths and weaknesses and, indirectly, my own and those of my team. I do this exercise daily for my clients but, when it’s my turn, it’s always difficult to remain objective and disciplined.

So I’ve sought the advice of experts. They’re my “neutral eyes” and they provide reflections that I wouldn’t be able to make on my own. I find this very beneficial: it opens my eyes, shakes me up for a moment, and motivates me! And when it’s heading the right way, I’m more focused! And for me, the “right way” is when suggestions, that are made to me and that make me see further than my nose, tie in with what I feel is right. So we need a relay team and we want it to be strong. For me, it’s one of the most powerful ways to achieve my goals as an entrepreneur.

This analogy comes from my personal experience spent training in the pool for 20 hours a week over several years and from individual competitions and relays at very high levels. I’ve trained and competed in a solitary sport (doing the equivalent of 6 km laps per training is like being in your own world!) Simultaneously, I developed very efficient and high-performing relationships with my relay team at the time. This performance was based on serious training, but also on an intrinsic desire to succeed, a complete understanding of the team as well as its members, and on the sharing of a common goal (we can “feel” it in each other’s eyes).

In addition, a relay is made up of four people and a team is composed of the relay. The elements that make up the team are as important as the relay, but they act at different levels and how they complement each other is defined by objectives that are different than those of the relay team. I don’t mean that four is the perfect number, but a relay team cannot be made up of 10 members. There can also be more than one relay per team, depending on the specialties and the desire to participate of each one. What’s important is to go where you feel comfortable going, where others also want to go and who are ready to invest their talent and volition.

A relay reveals its potential very quickly, in my opinion. Once the right structure of the relay is established, time and energy must be invested so that the synergy will crystallize this potential, both in sports and in business.

That is what I try to build every day.

Your comments or suggestions on how to reach your goals are welcome; please share them with us!

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