Written by Brett Patrontasch, Shyft CEO, on Medium. See the original post here
You’re crazy Brett. You’re going to break your wrist.
16 Wood square plaques ¾ inch thick lay in a stack on the cabin floor.
“We are going to try a team-building exercise.” As I handed the boards to each team member around the fireplace and cozy cabin couches near Mount Baker. “Everyone take out a colored marker and write your personal goals for the next 6 months on one side of the board. On the other side, write down all the obstacles or fears you have, that could get in your way of reaching those targets.”
“We will then all punch through the boards, and break through our fears as a team.”
A mixture of excitement, fear, and uncertainty filled the air. Some excited, eager at the opportunity and ready to jump right in, throwing caution to the wind. Some fearful, wanting the outcome, and carefully calculating if they have the skill and strength to complete the challenge. Some uncertain, possessing the internal strength, but unsure of their internal confidence to accomplish the task.
This array of emotions and personality types resembles the response our team would have when propositioned with the challenge: “Let’s go build a venture scaled startup.”
Neither of these tasks is easy, but both can be accomplished if we work as a team, support each other, and strive relentlessly towards this common objective together.
On the Shyft team, we are only as strong as our weakest link. If only half of us pull our weight and break through the boards, we all lose. The real challenge is how do we ensure every single team member crosses the finish line? How do we ensure every team member achieves both their personal experiential and financial goals, in growing Shyft to a successful outcome?
The answer is planning, support, and relentless determination. After reviewing the proper board breaking technique — a straight arm extension, breaking through with the palm of your hand — we were ready to begin. We discussed strategy, approach, and planned our attack. We pumped up the entire time, and we started cracking boards.
Founders go first. My cofounder Chris Pitchford held up the first wood plaque, and I read out my goals for the next 6 months to the team. I read out my fears, and the self-doubts I had that could stop me from achieving what I have to do. We put on some pump up music, I turned to the board, calculated my aim, and confidently smashed through the wood plaque breaking it into pieces. An eruption of cheer from the team!
Shyft Team Retreat Board Breaking
“Who’s up next?” One by one team members stepped up to the plate and rose to the challenge. They read out their goals and fears, and with force, broke through the wood plaques. With each successful break, the team built more confidence in their own abilities. Some team members who doubted themselves at first, smashed through the board with conviction, experiencing the rush of adrenaline you get when doing extreme sports, or working at a startup.
Every single team member broke through their board that day. We cheered them on, they faced their fears, and we all crossed the finish line as a team.
At Shyft, every single team member will make it across the finish line in building our business to a successful outcome. All team members earn options, all team members are business partners. We work as a core unit to support each other through the good times and the bad. Through the highest highs and the challenging lows. We complement each other’s strengths, support each other’s weaknesses, and work to bring out the very best in every team member who joins our crew.
Our core values are integrity, entrepreneurship, and work ethic. If you share these core values, come join our team. Let’s go drive a venture scaled business to a successful outcome for everyone together!
To apply, email: firstname.lastname@example.org