The deep bombastic reverberations of the Welsh legend that is, Sir Tom Jones, might not be the immediate go-to place for inspiration to effective team engagement. However as I will explore, his unique vocal qualities, and how they capture his sense of rhythm and soul can inspire a team to climb to greater heights, literally.

As someone who has worked in, managed, and now develops other people’s teams, I know only too well the importance of being in tune with the music of the team. I’m not talking here about embracing your teenage workers taste in trance, or being able to lip sync an entire Adele track. No, I talk about those special moments of true flow where the speed of the boss is the speed of the team.

The positive phycology, or flow, more commonly known as ‘being in the zone’, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

The value of awareness of group state allows us to utilise it, to turn up, or to tone down the volume accordingly, or to change the track from TJ to 1D.

In essence, flow is characterised by complete absorption in what we do, just like the bold Tom.


It’s Not Unusual
Inspiration and examples can be found in many places, and not just the corners of the corporate world. My best buddy R Kelly, no not that one. Rory shared with a magical moment he caught a few weeks ago on his way to work…..

Picture the scene, a dreary, rain-soaked morn in central Belfast as a team of laborers are hard at work constructing a giant scaffolding to the front fascia of an equally huge building. As they pass scaffolding up their human chain piece by piece, the atmosphere and buzz grows and grows with every key section. There’s no overcast mood to match the conditions but brightness, vibrancy and scaffolder generated music. In fact the classic Tom Jones rhetoric of “Huh”, “Yeah”, “C’mon” can be heard tunefully loud above the bustling din of the morning rush. With every successful pass, click and turn of the tools of the job, it can be heard like the beat of a drum. This is togetherness personified. Trust in each other, being present in the moment and delivering with great positivity a relatively mundane task, truly burning down the house.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Being present as a Manager in these moments are the warmest, happiest and most fun moments a team can experience. Being mindful and engaged with the team desires the combination of both high skill and challenge. When we conquer both of these we discover the pleasure of peak flow.


Why, Why, Why Delilah?
Individuals within a team environment often have more potential within than they themselves recognise. As Managers, we can do much to enable the discovery and expression of the teams potential. Our role is to facilitate mobility of potential, whether individual or in a team situation, by increasing self-awareness, allowing autonomy of choice and to build trust. In short, this enables the team to be more conscious of thought and action while being hampered less by the unconscious habits that interfere.

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