Resource for Team Leaders

Summary of Major Points

You may want to have additional discussion using ‘sport’ as a way to help others conceive of their leadership styles. Here is a summary of what Andy shared with your team:

There were three main points discussed:


Rugby = Collaborative Empathy

The eight-person scrum in rugby may resemble how your company competes in its go-to-market. The scrum is pursuing a single goal (acquiring possession of the ball) with diverse talent assuming structured positions. For the scrum to succeed, each player must both push in response to their competitor and remain aligned with their teammates. If a player is too responsive to the competitor and not sensitive enough to their teammate’s struggle in the scrum, the scrum fails to make forward progress.


Basketball = Transitional Empathy

The five-person play in basketball may resemble how your team brainstorms or develops new ideas. When one player has the ball, the other players advance the play by spreading the defense and remaining open for a pass. In brainstorming or ideation meetings, teammates both create space for the person advancing the conversation and adjust their positions to advance the play. The play advances most effectively (though never with certainty) when players adjust their positions in relation to the ball’s position, rather than their favorite spot from which to shoot.


NASCAR = Subordinate Empathy

The seven-person pit crew in NASCAR may resemble how your team advances work to downstream stakeholders. The ‘jackman’ raises the car slowly so that lug nuts are removed with less risk. The ‘tire carrier’ stands awkwardly so that gas can be poured faster. The pit crew members adjust their style – often making their own job harder or take longer – because it helps others to succeed. This is done because team members recognize the ‘goal’ is neither raising a car fast or changing a tire speedily – but completing all service activities at highest speed and lowest risk.

An Exercise For Your Next Staff Meeting

You may want to lead-off a future meeting with an ‘exercise’ or ‘game’ to extend the learnings from your experience. Here is an exercise we developed with Andy for your team:

Perp excercise

In our Teamraderie experience, Andy helped us to see that great athletic plays are often displays of different forms of empathy. In conversation, we found ‘empathy’ in rugby, in basketball, and in NASCAR – and then applied it to our work.

Many of us watch ‘sports’ on TV. Or watch our kids play ‘sports’. Or play a team sport ourselves.

Think of a sporting event you watched or participated in recently. Can you describe a form of empathy that you saw play out?

Alternatively, think of a work process or meeting you participated in recently. Can you describe a form of empathy – collaborative empathy (rugby), transitional empathy (basketball), or subordinate empathy (NASCAR) – that you saw play-out? Or that you saw NOT play-out?

As an alternate way to start the conversation, you can refer to video you watched of the WNBA game. The women in the video were likely 25-35 years old. Imagine if that same group of women were playing that same game 20 years earlier. What would that ‘play’ have looked like if executed by 5-10 year old players?

Professional athletes undergo a journey of physical capability (they become better players, stronger, can shoot from farther away) and a journey of emotional capability (they no longer ‘gather’ around the ball but instead learn to execute on a play). Professional athletes exhibit physical and empathetic growth.

In business, we are “pros” at solving problems, fixing issues, and inventing new things. But we often have not made the same level of development in our empathetic response to each other. What’s an example of where we – at our work – demonstrate high cognitive capability but less empathetic capability?

An Email to Share with Your Team

You may want to send an email to your team to expand on the experience with Summer. Here’s a draft email that you can personalize to fit your style as a leader:

Perp excercise
Principles Behind the Experience

Teamraderie experiences are designed in collaboration with management professors at Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Here are the principles Andy incorporated into your experience:

Invite Team Members to Share Personal Stories

A Rotterdam School of Management (2021) study showed asking members of the team to express unique viewpoints and perspectives (showcasing diversity – but within an inclusive environment) led to higher creative expression on teams. This Teamraderie experience helps satisfy both “uniqueness” and “belonging” needs of teams.

Create Visual Cues of Working Together

A Stanford University (2014) study found employees primed to act collaboratively were willing to spend 60% more time on a task, reported higher engagement levels, showed lower fatigue levels, and had a higher success rate. What’s more, this impact persisted for several weeks. This Teamraderie experience seeks to help your team see themselves (and their colleagues) in videos from sport that show visual cues of working together.

Start Explicit Discussions About Collaboration Styles

A London School of Business (2008) study found organizations that create explicit imperatives to ‘rethink’ business processes show longitudinal improvement in flexibility and receptivity to new ideas. This Teamraderie experience introduces ‘sport’ as a metaphor to discuss collaboration styles; by depersonalizing ‘style’ discussions (through analogy), discussions become more frequent and easier to conduct.

Recommendations For Your Team to Do Next
  • Need to Prepare for RTO?

Doing RTO soon? RTO and in-person offsites can be awkward moments when team members struggle to build connection. Learn a pragmatic tool set to create immediate and meaningful connection with colleagues and acquaintances.

Games to Ignite a Thriving Hybrid Team



Hybrid and RTO
Meeting colleagues in-person for first time? Teams are often majority constituted of ‘new’ employees, hired since the pandemic. How to ensure they engage easily when together? Practice activities common to trusting relationships and thriving teams.
  • Need to Improve Connection?


'Tartine Bakery' and French Press Coffee and Tea Experience

Includes Kit

Includes Kit

Vegan Option

Vegan Option



Hybrid and RTO
Do you need to bond over a shared moment? All teams love this coffee, tea, and pastry experience. Receive a beautiful French press, craft coffees, and assorted teas. Your team will be led in a fun and revealing discussion by an acclaimed barista.

Five-Flight Wine Tasting to Taste Diversity

Includes Kit

Includes Kit

Vegan Option

Vegan Option

Non-Alcoholic Option

Non-Alcoholic Option

Do you want to bond while celebrating diverse-founded businesses? Teams receive beautiful kit with five acclaimed wines made by female- and diverse-founded wineries. Learn story of each wine and discuss the form of inspiration it provides.
  • Need to Inspire Your Team?

Does your team need ‘flow’? One of the world’s most dominant athletes, Paralympian Tatyana McFadden, leads your team in discussion on to set ‘goals’ that give you ‘flow’ at work – leveraging your full creativity and sense of fulfillment.

A Legendary NASCAR Coach's Secrets of Elite Teams

Includes Kit

Includes Kit



Need inspiration to work ‘differently’? Team receives a 29-piece NASCAR and is joined live by legendary pit crew boss. Do a timed trial pitstop, then learn ‘how’ to think differently about work, and repeat the timed trial. Watch your time improve!
Additional Expert Resources for the Experience

Interested in learning more about these topics?

Author: Robert Sutton, a professor of management science at the Stanford University
Highlight: “Treat innovation as an import-export business. Keep trying to bring in ideas from outside your group or organization, keep trying to show and tell others about your ideas, and blend them all together.”

Author: Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Highlight: “The first step towards building empathy is acknowledging that it’s not an inherent trait but something that can be built. When people believe that empathy is something you either have or don’t have, it may seem out of reach.”

Thank you for being a Teamraderie customer.
We appreciate the opportunity to work with modern managers
who are embracing new forms of leadership.