What it takes to be a purposeful team

The video reminded me of a talk given by Roy Spence for the staff of The Container Store. Roy Spence is founder and chairman of GSD&M, a marketing agency known for their work with clients like Southwest Airlines, Walmart, and BMW. He is also the author of a Wall Street Journal’s bestselling book, It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For.

Towards the end of his talk, he shows a video of the song Hallelujah (performed by Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, and Kurt Nilsen). It’s a video he watches every morning for inspiration.

Like Pentatonix’s, the performance in the video he showed was also inspiring.

The five defining traits of a purposeful team
Roy explains that this performance is what purpose sounds like. He continues on describing how their performance is analogous to an organization driven by purpose. A great organization, a great company exhibits the following traits:

Firstly, everybody has to know the words to the song.
Secondly, you have to listen to one another.
Thirdly, you have to step up when it’s your turn.
Fourthly, it’s beautiful when you sing together.
And fifthly, it helps when you have a beautiful song to sing.

These traits also apply to Pentatonix as well as any team that wants to deliver inspiring performances.

The questions we must always ask
Inspired by Roy, these are the questions I believe we should constantly ask to make sure every team is as purposeful as it can be:

  1. Do we have a beautiful song to sing?
  2. Does everyone on the team know the words to the song?
  3. Are we listening to one another?
  4. Are we stepping up when it's our turn?

It is by answering yes to all of these questions that we make sure our team stays purposeful, and continues to do great, meaningful, and beautiful work.