TTBTSG... if you manage a team, you should have one.

As I got to the bottom of the "Thank you" email for a meeting I participated in the other day, I found the signature was simply TTBTSG.

Knowing that somebody would surely ask about it... and knowing the sender as I do (and that the answer would be a good one)... I just waited. Sure enough someone asked, and sure enough the response was a good one; brilliant in fact.

Think Tank Brain Trust Support Group... TTBTSG

Think Tank: a group or institution organized for intensive research and solving of problems...

Brain Trust: a group of experts who act as unofficial consultants on matters of policy and strategy...

Support Group: a group of people who meet regularly to support or sustain each other by discussing problems affecting them... 

As I consider how lucky I am to have a TTBTSG, I couldn't help but focus on the fundamental building blocks that make up these six letters...

The TTB (Think Tank Brain): The "smarts and abilities" portion of the acronym; the knowledge, intelligence, candid perspective, and experience that is available in the group to tackle ideas, situations, opportunities and problems.  


The TSG (Trust Support Group): The "working environment " portion of the acronym; the mutual respect, non-judgement, personality, understanding and "code of conduct" that define all discussions that take place.

It was also apparent to me that TTBTSG acts as a great "first blush" consideration for anyone who wants to build (and manage) a highly functional team...

  1. Are you hiring the best people possible and developing them to their fullest potential? (TTB)
  2. Are you developing a team environment of trust, support and mutual success? (TSG)

If you can honestly say "yes" to both of these points you are on your way to being part of an amazing team... if not, don't be surprised with ongoing turnover, poor engagement, a lack of good ideas, and poor commitment to making anything happen. 

Just saying!

In the end, the email reminded me how great people in the right environment can do amazing things, and how very lucky I am to have a TTBTSG.