A Much Better Way to End Your Morning Meeting – Ready, Break!

Huddle Up!

A morning huddle (daily scrum or daily stand-up) is a proven way for team members to share information and start the day with a sense of direction and connection to others. It sets a positive tone for the day and links us to a purpose larger than ourselves.

 Teams have been holding these short, focused morning meeting for years. Why? 

Because they work.

So how can you make your morning huddles more successful?

What if we applied a simple technique to our business lives that sports teams have been practicing for years?

Ready, Break!

On athletic fields around the country, teams huddle together before every play to ensure success. The coaches send in a play, and then the team leader in the huddle restates the play to make sure everyone understands their assignment. But before the players run to their starting positions, the group, in unison and loudly, will clap their hands simultaneously and yell “break,” or “let’s go,” or some other chant.

It’s a simple process repeated over and over by athletes and coaches around the world. 

At first glance, it might not appear to be that big of a deal. So what if a couple of players yell a word out loud? But “breaking the huddle” with enthusiasm has some overlooked but powerful benefits.

See for yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and call out a made up football play– “Red right, toss 24 on 3” –as if you were the quarterback on your high school team. At the end say, “1- 2 -3 ….break” and clap at the same time.

Probably nothing all-to-awe-inspiring by yourself.

Now get five of your friends or family members. Have them do the same drill. Make sure they participate with some zeal. 

Six to ten or more people chanting in unison is powerful. 

Here’s what it does for coaches and athletes. Let’s say you’re demonstrating a new technique. You’ve covered a couple of points, and now the athletes are ready to try it. If the coach shouts out, “1 – 2 -3” and all the athletes yell “let’s go,” the coach knows they’re ready to train. For athletes, it’s like hitting a reset button. I’m letting my coach know I’m ready to go.

I’m letting my body know it is time to change from passive watcher to active doer.

Breaking the Work Huddle

We have incorporated “breaking the huddle” from the athletic world into our daily business routine. It’s another way we are building a team culture, doing things differently, and having some fun.

Every morning the department supervisors have a short (typically less than five minutes) meeting to discuss things we should all be aware before starting the day. 

At the end of the meeting, rather than walk away, we huddle up, put our hands together, and break the meeting with a word of the day. Each meeting, someone different contributes the word.

In the attached video, the word was “bloom.” The day was May 1, the flowers are blooming, and it was a gentle reminder that part of our jobs is always to help our students and staff bloom too. 

Every meeting should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Dan and Chip Heath’s Power of Moments book describes how disproportionately important the beginning and end of events are. So, if you want to take your team to the next level, first acknowledge that finishing your meetings on a high note is just as important as starting it correctly. Then do something about it. 

Can you apply this practice to your organization?

Besides, why should sports teams have all the fun?

How Might a Wall Inspired By ‘Madness’​ Improve Your Team’s Culture?

No one expected the Loyola of Chicago Ramblers to go very far in the 2018 tournament. The Ramblers were ranked 11th in the South division when they upset the University of Miami, then Tennessee, and when they defeated a strong Kansas State team by 14 points they found themselves in the semifinals–the Final Four–and the buzz of the nation.

The month of March usually gets people thinking of St. Patrick’s Day, time off for spring break, and warmer weather. But for millions of people around the country, they suffer a peculiar Madness…as in March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament.

Different from most other collegiate basketball teams that have experienced competitive success at a high level, but primarily focus on the physical fundamentals of the game–shooting, passing, defense, etc.–the Ramblers have a “cultural” secret.

Loyola of Chicago’s “Wall of Culture” is an intentional and aspirational mural showing who the team is, what they value, and how they play. It is part commitment, part reminder, and a blueprint guiding the team’s selflessness. The Ramblers Wall of Culture is the essence of what makes their program special, and if you asked their coaches and players, a key reason for their success.

Last year, after discussing the Ramblers culture in a weekly supervisors meeting, IT Manager Dan Magyar took it upon himself to create a culture wall for our District’s IT team. He solicited input from the entire staff and created a motivational work of art.

The resulting 14’ x 9’ wall highlights our team’s values, our mission, and aspects of our culture that make our group unique. It’s a daily reminder of how we do things and that we are part of something bigger than just ourselves.

Dan Magyar, IT Manager, standing in front of the culture wall.

What words might be on your wall that accurately describes your culture? 

What intentional, creative, and fun ways do you celebrate and communicate your organization’s culture?

Everybody Matters

“Our responsibility is to be good stewards of that life while they are in our care.” Bob Chapman

Wow, I am BLOWN away by this guy. I benefit from his podcast and now a movie looks like it is in the works.  He inspires me and just wanted to share with  you.



Bob’s site www.trulyhumanleadership.com



What a “Butterfly Child” can teach all of us

I feel moved, inspired, humbled, grateful, ashamed, and blessed and countless other feelings after watching this video.
Warning: Many of the scenes are  intense. You may want to preview it before showing it to your children.

How do you feel after watching?

“Jonathan has helped eliminate any excuse you or I have or ever will come up with. An amazing soul no doubt, and he have done us a great favor by sharing his story and example with us.

One of the examples we can take away from Jonathan when we think things are getting a little tough is Jonathan’s “trick” to push himself through and past his pain threshold.

He called it going into The Void.

When Jonathan starts hitting his pain threshold, he steps into that dark room where there is a little candle flickering. He pours all his pain into that candle flame. That flame is his will and determination.

The more he feeds it the more powerful the flame of his will and determination get. Then eventually, he gets past the pain point, the pain dissipates and he can step out of The Void and back into reality.

You can use this “trick” anytime you hit your figurative wall too!”

Read more of Darren’s post here and listen to his interview with Jonathan.