Triathlon teambuilding

Over the years I’ve found that real teams form when you have an intense experience together, or repeated intense experiences that force you to be authentic and completely present – and so your true self – because you are reacting to the intensity. This happens on deals, it happens on tough product releases, but it’s the most fun when it happens outside the office. In a competition for example…

Yesterday 16 Rainmakers competed in the Cupertino Splash and Dash with me. This is a 1 mile lake swim followed by a 3 mile hill run up on the Stevens Creek Park. Most doing the race were triathletes looking for mid week training but we’ve done it in relay teams for several years now.

We fielded 8 relay teams yesterday. 8 swimmers and 8 runners. Turns out a couple of the swimmers had never swum in a lake before. One of them thought it was going to be in a pool. So this was a big challenge, standing on the mud flat at the edge, realizing they actually had to swim two half-mile laps of the lake. I found myself giving a pep talk on what it would feel like, how to pace yourself, how to see the buoys despite the sun, all in the 60 seconds before the gun. They were a very courageous set of new swimmers.

Our cheer group collected at the finish line to whoop and holler each runner in (one of the rules is if you want to eat bar-be-que at my house you don’t have to compete but you do have to cheer). All our runners had done it before and so they were stellar and we had everyone in by 7:30pm – at which point we rolled down the hill to my garden to cook, eat and drink. Not quite as intense, but still fun, especially with the pile of young kids in my pool swimming with the dog.

I’m so proud of FirstRain – it take a lot to race if you don’t do it all the time and the intensity and joy once we had finished was spectacular.

Chanting “Go FirstRain” together!