Tag Archives: team

Good Idea! Poor Execution…

My favorite farmer and I played racquetball on Saturday morning. Temperatures were hovering around zero outside, so we headed for the indoor court after I got farm chores finished.  We both enjoy athletics as well as doing things together, so it’s a good fit on a cold day.

I’ve loved Matt since I was eighteen and we’ve been married more than half of my life. One of our strengths as a couple is our dedication to the concept of team. We both place a priority on the realization that together we are stronger, just as we also acknowledge that the key to this is using our blend of strengths and weaknesses to continuously work to make the team better.

Matt is, hands down, a better racquetball player than I am. He’s bigger – He’s stronger –He’s faster. In fact, he’s also ambidextrous so he doesn’t have a “weak side”. Playing the game could be frustrating for me with him acing the serve and never giving me the ability to participate; but that isn’t the case because of our unwritten rule of always working to build the team.

As we play racquetball, I have lots of good ideas with poor execution. I’d never played the sport before I met Matt, and our games are pretty infrequent with the responsibilities of family and farm chores. I know enough that I can envision what I need to do, but my body doesn’t always move with the precision needed to make the play. However, each time that we play, I get better. This happens for two reasons:

  1. I bring a positive and passionate attitude to the games.
  2. Matt holds strong to the goal of helping the team to get stronger.

There is a reason that there is no “I” in TEAM. The lack of “I” keeps the team going with universal hope for the future.

Life is full of times when we work to build different skills. It is also full of moments when a fresh set of eyes allows for the development of good ideas. I believe that the secret to success is in the team mentality.  It creates a culture which nurtures the teammates. New ideas are created and embraced, and a level of support exists to inspire the work needed to improve execution.

  • It takes good ideas to inspire continuous improvement.
  • It takes practice to develop good execution.

Common acceptance of the goal, good communication, an underlying level of respect, and a dedication to finding group success makes each individual teammate stronger just as it builds the team. The score board said that I lost all three racquetball games, but I had moments of success and lots of improvement over the two hour period. Matt broke a sweat and I only lost the last game by two points. We finished with smiles on our faces – looking forward to the next time.

Sometimes, that’s the biggest victory of all 🙂

How do you build the concept of “team” in your life?

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Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, General

The Team

My daughter came home one night last summer and announced that she did not want to be the student manager and practice with the Cross Country team as a 6thgrader when school started in the fall.  I then asked her if she was planning to play club volleyball instead.  When she responded with a resounding, “NO”, I looked at her and said:  “Sweetheart, your last name is Burkholder.  Burkholders are involved and we participate.  You can make the decision as to which sport you would like to do, but you are going to contribute to one of the teams.”

Learning personal determination as well as being a team contributor...

My daughter not only had a fabulous time participating in Cross Country this fall, but she also proved to be a tremendous runner finishing a middle school 1 mile race in 6 minutes flat and taking second place.  It was truly a joy for me to watch her confidence build as she became a member of the team.

As a cattle farmer, I spend most of my time working independently with my animals or with one of my feed yard crew members.  This is the work that I love, and it is my primary focus.  That being said, I am also a member of the team of cattlemen across Nebraska and nationally that works to improve animal care, beef safety, and other issues pertaining to raising cattle.  In support of the team, I give my time and my talents.  In return, I also receive the latest scientific and regulatory updates that affect my cattle farm.

I spent time last week at the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Annual Convention.  As a team, we discussed issues such as cattle health, environmental regulations, taxes, brand inspection laws, and educational issues relative to the University of Nebraska and its animal science outreach extension programs.  We also received an update on national issues from Colin Woodall who leads the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s office in Washington DC.

Members of the team learning and participating...

It is always a sacrifice for me to leave my farm and attend meetings, but I am always so glad that I did because it is such an important part of my own personal continuing education.  I learn both how to improve my farm and also to be in compliance with state and federal regulations.  Being a part of the team has allowed me to meet some of the best beef farmers and scientists in the country.  In addition, I find that my “beef industry” work and involvement continually challenges me to strive for excellence in the everyday operations of my farm.

Perhaps most importantly, I find that the team camaraderie provides support for me, and allows for the growth of both personal knowledge and confidence.  I am very thankful that I am a participator (just like my daughter), and hope that my work for the beef team helps to continually improve the industry that I love so much.

What Team are you a part of?

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Filed under Foodie Work!, General