This video is a great example of the Air Force for two major reasons. First, both it and and the Air Force over complicate the simplest tasks. Where the end game is as simple as walking to the cooler and grabbing a Red Bull, there are lots more steps and layers added to accomplish the mission at hand. Several people and lots of resources are now required to make this happen.
However, I prefer to focus on the other principle exemplified in this video and that is it takes everyone to make the mission happen. Each person is required to be technically ready and experts in their field to flawlessly execute his or her portion of the mission. If any one had not been ready to go, the mission would have suffered setbacks and could have failed.
What we are not seeing in this video is the person leading this effort. There were many moving parts to make this Rune Goldberg machine operate and it took more than someone saying, “just do your job” or “shut up and color.” This took a leader who was able to communicate the big picture.
Often, we are just telling those on our teams to get to work and do their jobs without expressing the importance of it. We typically forget to discuss those waiting for them to finish their portion of the task. By explaining where each person fits into the mission and how what they do impacts others, there is a sense of purpose and the desire to not fail. It is vital for us as leaders to communicate this to each person.
Another thing that was not seen in this video was a micro manager. There was not a single person telling each athlete how to do his or her job. Instead they were given the tools to do the job; a big picture view of what had to happen before they began; what was expected of them; and they were shown the finish line. As leaders we tend to forget we are not the experts in each area or specialty. It is not our job to be. It is our job to make sure we are giving our stars the tools they need to succeed and moving the obstacles blocking their paths.