I might be alienating half my readership right now, but I freely admit to liking the Fast and the Furious movie series… even though the physics is often laughable. The action is solid, the quotes vary from hilarious to cringe-worthy, and I have a soft spot for Michelle Rodriguez.
But that’s not why I’m bringing up the series. I was thinking about the best way(s) to build wellness teams this past weekend when a scene in Fast Five came to mind. Vin Diesel’s and Paul Walker’s characters were talking about the team they’d need to take down the kingpin of Rio. (They couldn’t do it with just their three-person core.) As I replayed the scene in my head, the descriptors of their ideal team members stood out to me.
Each ideal teammate had one defining characteristic. Each worked with the others to create a cohesive unit that could adapt to, and tackle, any challenge. What were they?
- Chameleon: someone who can blend in anywhere
- Fast talker: someone who can talk their way out of anything
- Knows circuits: someone who networks well and can make connections
- Wall breaker: someone who can break down protection around the kingpin
- Utilities and weapons: someone who isn’t afraid to “throw down”, and can back up the other positions
- Precision driver: someone who doesn’t crack under pressure, and never loses
All of them were accomplished drivers, which was the underlying connection that tied the unit together.
Of course, taking a hundred million dollars from “the most powerful man in Rio” is a far cry from running a corporate wellness program. (You won’t have to dodge bullets and a squad of federal agents led by a former professional wrestler, for one.)
The lesson for wellness programs is the same as the lesson in the movie. You can’t tackle this sort of task alone, and you can’t have a homogeneous team. You need a team with varied talents, and everyone must be united by a common quality: dedication to a healthy lifestyle.
So, here are the wellness program parallels to the Fast Five team:
- Chameleon: The jack-of-all-trades. Knows a good amount about pretty much everything, and will jump in to handle whatever task might come up. Can help with participation drives, education initiatives, program evaluation, strategy, and everything in-between.
- Fast talker: The speaker. Teams need at least one spokesperson. Whether you do this with newsletters, whole-office meetings, or some other method, you need someone who can speak well and handle an inevitable barrage of questions.
- Knows circuits: The social butterfly and/or the networker. This person is your best asset when it comes to getting the word out to the office, and is particularly good at drumming up enthusiasm and participation.
- Wall breaker: The question-and-answer and/or motivational person. It’s different than the fast talker because some people will have hang-ups about getting involved. Health, uncertainty, apathy, confusion about food/exercise styles, whatever the case may be. You need someone who can help break down the walls that prevent growth and participation.
- Utilities and weapons: The tech wizard, the number cruncher, the evaluation expert, the nutrition expert, the fitness expert, the regulations analyst, and/or more. You need ways to track individual and group progress, compile and analyze data, evaluate program success, disseminate information (e.g., about nutrition), and work the numbers. This truly backs up all the other positions — it’s the machinery that makes the program run.
- Precision driver: The leader. This one is the head of strategy, the planner, the one that puts thoughts and words into action, the one that does the research and finds the best way to get things done, and the one to keep everyone from losing sight of the end goal.
Your team might have one person to fill each role. It might have a few representatives of several categories. In smaller teams, you might have someone who handles multiple roles. Your company might have “weapons contracts” with external nutritionists or personal trainers. Whatever your unique situation, the most important thing to remember is that you must have a well-rounded team.
So… do you? Let me know how your wellness team looks.