What Can Our Teams Learn From The ANZACs?

My partner and his two best friends attended the local dawn service today for ANZAC Day and after everyone came home to a big breakfast, we then sat down to watch the ANZAC day football game between Essendon and Collingwood. As I was watching the initial service and the dedication from the various armed forces represented, I reflected on what we can learn within our organisations from these dedicated men and women.

Consider the qualities of courage, compassion and camaraderie displayed by ANZAC soldiers despite significant and continuous adversity. They assisted Australia to forge its identity as a nation.

I have to ask though; does this same mateship, moral code, resilience and mental toughness apply to our everyday lives and especially within our teams and organisations? Does our organisational leadership assist us to manage challenges and change? Interestingly it was the military that came up with the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) acronym, not organisational leadership. It was the military who first recognised this VUCA environment was the new normal and therefore developed strategies to manage this environment. Organisations have really just been playing catch up.

When work gets tough or we feel overwhelmed, camaraderie is what pulls people together and we recognise we are often much more resilient when we feel strong relationships are there to support us.

Consider some of the key themes we can adopt in our team work that the ANZACs were able to emulate.

1. Resilience and Mental Toughness

In our constantly changing environment, we not only need to be able to bounce back from setbacks and failures, we need to have the confidence to spot and seize opportunities. We often find ourselves in the trenches and there is the possibility that our emotions can get the better of us. Our teams, just like our diggers need to be able to believe in themselves and thrive in harsh conditions.

2. Mutual understanding

The best teams (and soldiers) respect and understand one another. They recognise their differences, accept that everyone has diverse strengths and weaknesses and despite this, they work together to achieve the best results possible.

2. Like-mindedness

Camaraderie in the workplace, (just the same as in the trenches), is fuelled by a common goal and purpose. A team needs to have passion for what they are achieving together and a belief in the work they are doing which unites them.

3. Camaraderie and support

The best teams practice solidarity in the workplace (and on the battlefield). They are united in achieving desired outcomes together and support one another in difficult circumstances. Everyone pitches in and helps out when required, irrespective of their individual differences or whether they like each other or not.

4. Respect and Trust

The true essence of camaraderie is a sense of mateship. This means enjoying the time you spend with your colleagues, whether it is in the trenches or a workstation. Trust and respect means standing up for one another, recognising each other’s worth, being truly reliable and having faith that “someone has your back”

So, on reflecting on this special day, consider what your team can learn from the ANZAC spirit. There are so many lessons to be learnt.

Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner.  Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, behaviour and wellbeing.  You can find her at www.bakjacconsulting.com or michelle@bakjacconsulting.com