By Dan Cooper on April 17, 2020

It’s mile 19, Let’s Jump On a Trampoline

For marathon runners, mile 19 is when the body bonks, there are chinks in the armor, and the mind starts talking negatively hoping to inspire quitting.

Are you sprinting a marathon still? Are you cheering others on but feeling like it’s mile 19?

Me too. And for whatever reason, most conversations I’ve had with Acumen Partners this week have had this feeling; Bonk. Funk. Doubt. Isolation.

About a week into our quarantine, we knew we had to increase our kid’s outdoor options for activity or my wife and I thought we could end up with one less kid due to the carnage.

We’d talked about getting a trampoline many times and I always had objections; Safety, they won’t jump on after a week, the trees will make it hard to jump every day with how much they drop acorns, leaves, and sticks.

I was wrong. Getting a trampoline has been awesome. (I can still do a backflip. Who knew?)

Do you know what the point of a trampoline is? Nothing. There isn’t a way to win trampoline. The structure is jumping, laughing, playing. Yes, there are games but they are fluid. There are no real winners or losers, the teams are all mixed up all the time and in the end, all we want out of it is some fun. I feel energized after a trampoline session.

One day I had six Zoom calls back to back. I was exhausted. Who knew concentrating into a screen for 6 hours would be tiring?

Have you had this day yet? It’s ridiculous.

For me, I’m more efficient. Get more done, talk net, get down to it. What I’ve missed are the simple little interactions that make life … life. The meaningless yet meaningful communication in between all the business triage we’re all dealing with right now.

Some need rest. Some need connection.

Let’s start jumping on the trampoline with each other.

For Acumen, our teams have started spending the first 10ish minutes of each call talking, laughing, having fun, using new silly virtual backgrounds, implementing dumb poll questions, voice filters, or telling stories. It’s highly inefficient and wonderful.

Why do it? For the fun of it. For nothing. For connection and communication. For energy. It helps tremendously.

Get your work done. Be serious. Execute. Triage.

But don’t forget to jump on the trampoline with your team and in your meetings.

As the leader, you’ll need to kick this new value off or elect someone as the trampoline manager. There is no score, and everyone wins.

This sprint is now a marathon. Pace, mindset, rest, and fun will allow us to finish the race.

Published by Dan Cooper April 17, 2020