The Lesson Of The Hula Hoop


The Hula Hoop Lift is a profound lesson for teams in my workshops because it illustrates some vitally important points. First, it shows not only how easy it is for two people to stay in sync, but it demonstrates the illusion that could represent. Notice, when it’s just two people, one could be up and the other down — and yet it’s still easy to stay connected, even though they might be moving in opposite directions. This is particularly poignant if your team used to be two people and it seemed so easy back then. You might be saying things like, “When it was just the two of us, man, it was like we moved as one mind. We didn’t even have to say some things, we just knew. But now that there’s 6, 7, 8 of us, it’s gotten soooo complicated.”  And it has, for a million and one reasons.

  • People move at different speeds

  • Some are taller than others, setting a standard others physically can’t meet

  • No one takes the lead

  • The hoop is too small

  • The team’s not talking…

And the list goes on, but here’s the key: As you ask your team what they would need to make it work, they may call for things like a leader, or someone to count a beat, or maybe if their fingers were physically touching one another they could feel the other person’s movements and react accordingly. But the simple truth is the hula hoop is too light, and as you try to move the team forward, it’s very easy to lose people. Hence the lesson: If your vision, your goal, your mission, your “why,” is too light and thin, it loses people; they can’t stay connected. The dream has to push down on us with enough strength to create resistance, so that we have something solid enough, strong enough, to push against. Only then can we stay connected, get stronger, and move together as a team, making the work of carrying a heavy dream (or piano) seem like light work.

If a goal is too light, it has no point, no meaning, no real value. It’s light, it’s fluffy, and it doesn’t hurt anyone if you drop it. It’s a placeholder. For teams to thrive, you have to work together towards a goal that means something, that drives you to engage, a goal that will bring your team together.

What are you carrying together today? 

If you think your team could benefit from one of my workshops, contact me. I’d love to talk about how your team can grow!