Whether you follow hoops, pucks, futbol, open wheels or pigskins, there is a high number of sports teams in any metro area. Factor in the multiple levels of collegiate and pro teams and the choices grow exponentially. Having your office “team” rally behind one local sports icon may not be a slam dunk for consensus or team building given the assortment of choices and rivalries.
It’s not impossible to build comradery around sports, think back to Butler, which has less than 5,000 students,) dancing all the way to the Final Four in their own backyard. Everything was blue, and everyone was a bulldog.
What else can you do during those long stretches between Cinderella runs to hit a home run with your team? Trying reading a book. Before you go hoarse screaming "A-I-R BALL," let me share our office book club winning season.
The inaugural selection for our book club was “The Checklist Manifesto” by Dr. Atul Gawande. Before you bench the whole idea, let me put in a cheer for a great book. Read it, and you will look at brown M&Ms with a totally different eye.
It all started with a delayed flight. Due to a sniper in an area of the airport, my travel plans changed from a red eye to a cross-country day flight. I traded the opening day of a conference for a conditioning day of reading. Truthfully, I couldn’t put the book down. I would have even welcomed some extra air time to finish the last few pages. I knew this book was a game plan our team had to put into play during our team huddles, which we hold every other week.
We would cover about three chapters per huddle and, instead of spending a great deal of time in discussion, we allowed everyone to share key points and analogies. The discussions were a nice change of pace from the usual client lists and to-do tasks. Everyone could have some playing time in the discussion arena by passing key points back and forth. As an added bonus, certain plays/examples/stories from the book could be used as accountability scorecards.
The goal is to include three or four books per year.
Our second choice was “Raving Fans” by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles – another good team read. We'll be starting a third book soon.
If your team could use some off the court conditioning, consider finding a book and start your own office book club. Spending some time on the bench is good for all of us, especially with a good book in hand.
Shelley R. Johnson, CPA, is a managing member with Allman Johnson CPAs & Advisors, a "2015 Firm of the Future" that helps build profit for service-based businesses by transforming transactions into useful decision tools, while keeping an eye on optimizing tax strategies. You can reach her at allmanjohnson.com, or visit linkedin.com/in/srjcpa or facebook.com/AJCPAs. You also can follow her @allmanjohnson.