"Over the past thirty years, I have participated in over 80 information technology projects where most were a success, a few failed miserably and others succeeded beyond all hope. What made the difference?  I became aware, from both a staff and leadership perspective, that success was rarely the sole result of technology, but from the individuals forming the IT team. When leadership utilized the collaborative skills of the team, a project's objectives were met and more often then not, exceeded expectations regardless of the unexpected."  Anthony R. Dziedzic 


Tack is a nautical term defined as the position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails, the act of changing from one position or direction to another. When going against the wind, a sailboat "tacks" back and forth to move forward. TeamTacks is a concept defined as a course of action meant to maximize effort and minimize opposition to attain a goal. The working model is comprised of purpose, vision, and practice. The alignment of the team and individual's defined tacks is the engine of teamwork.

Are you willing to give this a try?  Let's begin by taking a task you are now doing.  It doesn't matter if you perform this task well or have difficulty with it. 

Now ask yourself, why do you do this task? 

Purpose Does your answer fall in any of the three categories below?

1) For the money. It's part of my job and I get paid for what I do.
2) Because I like what I do and this task is a part of that.
3) For my boss. I like my boss and he/she would be disappointed if I didn't perform this task to meet his/her expectation.

If your "purpose" for doing this task fits in one of the above categories, try again. A clue in finding the purpose of a task is to think of who or what is directly affected by this task.

If your "purpose" for doing this task does not fit in one of the above categories, we're ready to test if your defined purpose is real.

Vision Can you visualize what the direct results of performing your task will be?

Here's an analogy (the author is unknown) that may help to define your purpose in a way to visualize it. 

There were three bricklayers, one was methodically laying brick after brick with nary a smile and even though he was deliberate there was little regard to detail. Some bricks could have been better laid. Another was laying brick after brick with great concentration, and was spending some time to detail, being sure that the bricks he laid were aligned.   In contrast, the third bricklayer was obviously having a good day smiling and laying nearly as many bricks as the other two combined and with greater accuracy.  When the first bricklayer was asked what he was building, he replied, “I’m a brick layer not a builder”. The same question was asked of the second, where he replied tartly, "a wall". When the same question was asked of the third bricklayer, he responded "a majestic cathedral!"

Vision plays a substantial role of how well we perform at any task. If you cannot "see" the results, it lacks real purpose.

Practice OK, you have purpose with vision, now we can tackle the final tack. Practice is taking action in processing the 3 C's... Change - Commit - Communicate.

- Change --- defines what is to be changed to fulfill purpose.  Only through change can we improve. And remember, we can always do better!

- Commit --- to acting on the execution of the defined change.  Be specific in regards to when this change is to take effect.

- Communicate --- all along the way.  For our exercise, you can write a report but just talking to your inner self will do.  Has this change improved the results of your task?  If so, you are fulfilling your purpose. If not, does the change you defined need tweaking or more time or a different "change"? Practice until your vision becomes reality. 

TeamTacks   This exercise demonstrates the power of TeamTacksCan you imagine the results your team would produce by using this method?  I can... can you see it! 
If you are interested in knowing more about the TeamTackscoaching method contact me, Anthony Dziedzic at your earliest convenience.


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Last modified: August 06, 2013 ---- CCA_ChessClub  - DSST