I’m reading a book right now called ‘Principles’ by a guy named Ray Dalio. He owns a company called Bridgewater and Associates, often times ranked in the top 5 most important privately owned companies in the world. They make a LOT of money for a lot of people, but that’s not why I’m reading his book. Bridgewater is famous for creating what Ray calls an ‘idea meritocracy’. It’s a way of decision making where everyone gets to speak their mind, however that input is weighted based on the expertise of the individual.
The only way this system works is if there’s a culture of radical honesty and radical open mindedness. Otherwise people wouldn’t feel comfortable coming forward with their ideas or feedback. That means the best potential solution may never be discussed, or implemented, out of fear. This is unacceptable to Ray…and to me.
The idea of radical open mindedness and radical honesty made me think of the paragraph at the top of our team culture document. Then, thinking about it further, I realized we’ve created this culture everywhere within the walls of our gym, not just for our staff. Here’s the paragraph I’m talking about:
‘The New Zealand All Blacks are the most successful sports team in the world. Since their inception in 1905 they have a 77% win average. Even with this astounding number, they have had an incredible number of ups and downs as a team. But they continue to always adjust and get back to the right details. The All Blacks have a saying amongst themselves “In the belly, not the back’. They trust one another very deeply because nothing, absolutely nothing ever, is said behind a teammates’ back. The absolute honesty among them builds unadulterated trust. This trust breeds love. Unbending trust is the strength of the All Blacks . It is the strength of any great team. Be a great team.’
Why am I writing all this as a bright spot? Because in many CrossFit gyms there’s this thing called ‘CrossFit Drama’ and it can absolutely ruin what CrossFit is supposed to be about.
I’m proud of us for being morally strong. For looking out for one another. For bringing any problems that may arise to the surface and not letting them fester. There will always be problems, but dealing them in a healthy and respectful way leads to a tighter team, not a looser one. It’s hard to take things ‘In the Belly’, but it’s much harder to hear things behind your back.
I promise to speak up for every one of you if you’re not there to defend yourself, and I know you’d do the same for the rest of the Loco Fam. With where our country is at the moment this behavior is rare.
You should be grateful for it…I know I am!