Preparation and Expectation - Lesson Learned (again!)

Preparation and Expectation - Lesson Learned (again!)
June 30, 2011

I just completed a 2-day, 150 mile charity bike ride. We are now a large team of over 60 people, with a range of experience on the bike and the ride.  Some been riding for several years and are excellent riders and bike handlers but some are new to both the ride and the bike. As we carpooled into Quincy for the start, I rode with a first-time racer and someone pretty new to biking in general.  She was asking me so many questions and was anxious about the unknown.  What happens when we get all these bikes there? Is there food at the start? How much water should I drink? Where do I go when I get to Bourne?  Where do we go to meet up with the team?

It occurred to me that we hadn’t done a good job of preparing her. Sure we organized training rides and purchased team jerseys and the distribution of registration packets.  But we didn’t really prepare her with the details that are critical to the success of the ride. Duh, you'd think as leaders and experienced riders, we should have thought of those things.  But we forgot how we felt the first time. In short, we hadn’t set her expectations appropriately, and thus, she wasn’t prepared.  I took some mental notes to communicate better, and to provide more information to the team so each member would be prepared (you'd think I would have thought of using Brainshark to do this earlier, but I needed the "a-ha" moment I guess).

So, now, just two days after the big ride, I created a Brainshark to ask for feedback on the ride and how we can improve the experience for everyone next year and promised to communicate better throughout the year, starting now.   Communication… setting expectations and being prepared… basic tenets for success and critical for any team to function efficiently and provide for continuous improvement.   Big reminder for me… and as I hit the second half of the selling year, a lesson I can use every day not only with my bike team but for my selling process as well. 

(P.S. Our team raised over $75K to fight MS  this year with a goal of $86K next year.)