Watching a great team operate

I have just one of the most memorable weekends of my life. One of my closest friends got married at a stunning venue in the south west of France. We spent four nights at a chateau where I truly got to see their great team comprising management and staff. A lot of my time is spent working with teams to create harmony and superior performance and so it was incredible to just sit back and observe something working like clockwork.

The first thing you could tell was that this was not the first wedding they had hosted. This was something that they had perfected over time and had tweaked their approach in order to constantly create an exceptional experience for their guests. The second clear thing was incredible communication between the team. The team was relatively small but they all played multiple roles and at no point did they ever portray that they weren’t in complete control and that everything was happening for a reason.

They also had “what if” scenarios planned for all eventualities. Nothing phased them — from the weather, to children, to difficult guests, to out of the box requests. When the weather turned on the second day there was no change in the experience for the guests. They just slightly rearranged and maintained the same professionalism and calmness that was at their core.

As you think about what impression you want your team to portray to your ‘guests’ be clear to articulate what it is and build a process that delivers it repeatedly and irrespective of environments out of your control. This for me is one of the hallmarks of a great team.

To the staff at Chateau Rigaud, it was an absolute pleasure to be in your company for the last four days and observe something working in complete harmony. You have set a benchmark that will be hard to surpass.

Originally published at on May 19, 2017.