• Post Type: Backblast
  • When: 11/22/2020
  • AO: Coconut Horse
  • QIC: Short Sale
  • FNG's:
  • PAX: Stroganoff, Roscoe, Whoopee, Bumgardner, Defib, Pockets, Flinstone (Q-source)

Sunday morning began earlier for some at the Coconut Horse. Head of the November Challenge began with a 5 mile loop alone, joined later by Stroganoff for another 5 miles and then added Whoopie and Bumgardner for a 5 mile ruck. I believe that ticks off the 15 mile run/ruck challenge for Roscoe. Defib got in what is a standard EC and Pockets got after it as well. As for the Q, I added 3 miles to my list. Bumgardner had to leave and we replaced him with Flintstone for Q Source.

Standard announcements of Thanksgiving Triple Post, F3 Blood Drive 12/10 and Christmas Party 12/12. Sargento’s prayer list; Roscoe reported Little Caesar is recovering from his procedure.

Q-Source – Equipping (Q4.7) – In the 4th Quadrant, we’re studying Legacy and building off Teamwork from last week, this lesson was “Equipping” which is a bit counter intuitive to our current society (i.e. Goo Nation) where everyone gets a trophy, helicopter parents lambaste teachers to ensure their child gets an A, positions on club teams are secured financially rather than the most skilled. Notice I’m tip-toeing around the political angle – but you get the point. Goo Nation suggests the world is your oyster. Walt Disney said if “if you can dream it, you can do it.” I hear this in some of the college students I interview. I’m not one to dampen their spirit, but I think the dream focuses too much on the reward which is the end of the dream. Where is their “Rocky-like” montage of all the sweat and tears? The early morning hours where the work begins? Think of what you do best – maybe it is a God-given talent or maybe it was something you studied, practiced, and worked to become proficient. Equipping is taking that skill and putting it into the team environment where your contribution makes the team thrive.

The challenge for the Q when designing the mission, is to sort out the mission essential tasks that must happen for the mission to succeed. Hopefully there are team members possessing those skills and he can play chess with those pieces to ensure victory. In the lesson, Dredd uses a bank robbery as his example but I went a different direction.

“In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… the A-Team.”

If you were a child of the 80’s, especially male, you had to have watched this show. And if you’re a Gold Digger, you could have seen the movie version in 2010. Anyway, I used this show to illustrate equipping. If you weren’t at the CH and you’re sticking with me, here’s a quick rundown of the team:

  • John Hannibal Smith is the leader with vision. He designed the missions and assigned tasks. He made tough decisions and was calm under pressure. Typically at the show’s end his catch phrase was “I love it when a plan comes together.”
  • Templeton “Face” Peck is a resourceful con-artist that procures whatever the mission needs. If they needed a tank, he’d get it. A helicopter, no problem. He was creative and found a way to get things done.
  • Bosco “BA” Baracus – played by Mr. T, he was the muscle. If a tree needed to be removed, if a car converted into an armored car, anything built or removed by force, he was the guy to do the dirty work.
  • “Howlin Mad” Murdock – he lives in a Veterans’ Hospital in the mental wing. Whenever the rest of the team requires a pilot, they have to break him out of the hospital, generally using Faceman to do so. His team essential skill is to fly any kind of aircraft. He helped in other ways, but flying was his primary mission purpose.

From 1983 to 1987, once a week, the A-Team was on NBC and the plot summary was typically repeated with the A-team being requested to help someone out of trouble. They’d accept the job, encounter a challenge of some sort that put them in a precarious position (captivity usually). They’d fight their way out, usually building something or flying. Then they would resolve the dilemma and move on. Each of the four essential team members used their skill to help the team succeed. To my memory, BA or Murdock never designed the mission or communicated with the clients. Face could have acted like the leader, but that wasn’t his forte – that was Hannibal. This team worked best when they used their respective skills to complete the mission.

Equipping is not always that simple. Sometimes you have an existing team that don’t have the mission essential skills. Do you then have time to train? Sometimes you’re on a rocket ship speeding to the moon and training on the fly is a challenge. But as a leader, the more you can evaluate and recognize the skill sets of your team, hone those particular skills to where they’re core competency is leveraged to the Mission Essential Tasks the greater likelihood for success. To prepare for this study, I reviewed an article by Barry Harmsen that broke down the information of the A-Team  and how to build a team. Of interest is a “T chart” he included displaying the breadth of Knowledge and Skill at the top of the T. It goes along with the saying “Jack of All Trades but Master of none.” However, as one thinks of the skills which they are best, the pool narrows as a person focuses to their Core Competencies which is a smaller set at the base of the “T.”

If you’re sick of me at this point, safe to drop the call but I don’t feel like working much today, so in our Q-Source we briefly mentioned the team building for a relay. But since that conversation, my mind wandered a bit more. Most everyone in our F3 group can run, even if it’s just a little, the PAX could do it (see Roadie at the P200 on leg 3 for 7 miles). What are the goals? If you want to win, you start with the fastest guys. No need to name them in case I leave someone of the list and they get their feelings hurt – you probably have an idea who these men are. You need a driver – of course I’d start with the Mayor. Anyone can drive a van but no one is as prepared with a full notebook of rule, the individual exchange zones listed, directions, etc. The Mayor is a veteran. He gets the team where they need to be ahead of schedule. He’s a project manager for work, so this is a core competency. At the top, we’re talking about being prepared, so with that in mind, who are the mission essential team members? What if the van breaks down in the middle of the night – you want a PAX mechanically inclined – so maybe a Lil’Sweet, Pockets, or Gumby (using the references I know – my apologies to those handy men I didn’t include). Pick one of those guys and don’t forget your tools. Does anyone need a violin lesson? Nope – ok – Gold Digger’s out…wait he knows jujitsu and can karate chop a bear – he’s back in! Ah, but what about Allen Tate? He’s an officer of the law – but he get’s lost – go to Roscoe. Gold Digger out again. Good to have a doctor – we have a few of them and most of them run pretty fast. But Defib has proven he can massage an man’s inner thigh like nobody’s business with the delicate hands of a Asian Nail Painter – he’s in! Do we need a financial planner? No – Sargento to the curb. Quiche says drink Diet Coke and Luna bars – we need a back-up doctor in case Defib goes down – put Quiche in.  Do we need an educator? Not on this trip – okay, politely ask Dr. Seuss to sit this one out…oh – he wants to run for the fun of it and not count? Ok – but you have to drive your own car. Unofficially he’s in. Where are we, we need a 5th guy – probably should look at Tool Time but he won’t shut up at 2 am…sorry ex-Nantan. What about the Pizza Man – he’d be great, what is his super power? Making grass grow out of a rock? Motivating others? Tool Time does that, but Pizza is quieter – I don’t care – it’s a pick ’em. One final spot in this van and lots of choices. It’s killing Sister Act that he’s not been mentioned thus far but we’re full on complaints – gotta move on. What about the Leppard? He can sing gospel or Hank Williams? I guess we have a radio for that. Nantan Immortal is on the sideline. Actually what we need is a navigator – that is an important job to tell the Mayor where to go. I know I’m not qualified. I nominate Freight for that one. So Van 1 is set:

  • Mayor – driver
  • Lil’ Sweet/Pockets or Gumby – mechanical issues
  • Defib – Doctor/Massage Therapist
  • Roscoe – Security
  • Quiche – back up doctor, dietician
  • Pizza Man or Tool Time – Motivation
  • Freight – Navigator

If we ever get to run another relay, consider the talents of your team.