I recently stumbled upon this video of a Southwest Airline flight Attendant doing his announcements the Rap way. Simply a refreshing moment of pure groove, as only Black people know how to spread joy and happiness just singing and/or dancing - I remember a nice saleswoman at a Duty-free store at Johannesburg' airport some years ago: she was dancing on the desk.
Actually, this moment reminds the one I enjoyed myself back in May 2000 during the first European Distributors Seminar I've organized at Agilent Technologies. A 3-days intensive workshop aimed a creating a tight bond between us the ONT Optical Network Test Division and our european reps, the outcomes of the event have proved being tremendous. From pure technical insights to creative ways to support our customers, this seminar has been a true milestone in the (unfortunately short) life of the Agilent ONT Division.
The "funny" thing is that on the last day of the seminar, I have had to let the people brainstorm without me: I had to work on a tender. A very last minute call from the regional Sales manager, who was unable to write the proposal himself. Of course, as usual, this was on Friday, for a hard deadline on the Monday. You can imagine how I felt: upset because this guy didn't follow my recommendations and suggestions, all made weeks before, and depressed because we were set to lose the tender anyway then.
Knowing me as a brother do, my friend Peter Schweiger came to my room to pick me up for the coffee break. It was almost 10:30AM, and I was almost shaking, as I was nervous as never before. As I entered the meeting room, all the distributors and my Agilent colleagues welcomed me like I was a Rock star (sort of ;-) : they knew I needed warm positive thoughts to get rid of my nervousness.
That's where this rap by the South West flight attendant comes in: deeply touched by their sincerity, I decided to ask all the participants to sing a french song with me. "Melissa", by Julien Clerc. I tell you: seeing 20 people clapping their hands in rhythm, and hearing them singing "Matez ma métisse" with the english, scottish, german, spanish, italian, danish, american (and french ;-) accents was a pure moment of joyce. They made me forget this bloody tender, and they made us a true, real team.
Almost 9 years after, when I meet some of my former reps, we always remember this very moment, when we all became part of the same group.
Keep in mind, the next time you have to create a team: let's sing together.