While I was cycling along the Brisbane River, I noticed that something was wrong.
My pedals started making a funny noise.
Then all of a sudden my bike stopped working.
I nearly fell off.
As I stopped to look at it, I realized the chain was stuck in the gears.
It was a new bike, which made it even more annoying!
For the next half an hour, I tried to pull the chain out of the gears.
But it was stuck.
So I had to walk home with my bike.
I was 'that guy' walking a bike along the pathway.
I'm sure people thought, "Mate, why not just ride the bike?"
The next morning, I got my toolbox and went downstairs to work on my bike.
Two hours later (yes, two hours!) I finally wiggled the chain out of the gears.
I was proud of myself. (I'm not a practical 'handyman' sort of guy)
I decided to take my fixed bike for a ride.
10 minutes later... (yep, you know what happened!)
The chain came undone again.
It was exactly the same problem. My chain was completely stuck in the gears.
I was furious.
There was no way I was going to spend more of my time trying to fix that bike.
I locked the bike to a pole, scootered home and drove back to pick up my bike.
I took it straight to the bike shop I bought it from.
The mechanic was fantastic. He put the bike up onto his machine so he could find the problem.
What do you think the problem was?
A broken frame on my new bike?
Some issue with the tires?
A technical problem with my new gears?
No, it was much simpler than that!
The bike's derailleur* was out of alignment.
*The derailleur is the tiny little thing that connects to the chain at the back and front of a bike.
The derailleur was only a few millimeters out of alignment!
Yep, a few millimetres.
Those few millimetres of misalignment had caused me many hours of frustration.
Those few millimetres of misalignment caused me to spend half an hour walking a bike along the river back to my house.
The mechanic used a screwdriver to fix the alignment in a couple of minutes.
Isn't it amazing how something so small can cause such big problems?
What about your team?
Is your team aligned?
Or do you have a few millimetres of misalignment?
The next time you experience the 'chain getting stuck in the gears' in your team, remember this email.
What if the root cause is actually a tiny lack of alignment?
I challenge you in 2023 to take your team to the next level.
Get out your 'leadership screwdriver' and do whatever it takes to fix your alignment issues.
I promise you'll save yourself more time, money and frustration than you can imagine!
Do you want help fixing your team's alignment?
Download and start watching my masterclass on team building right now: