Does Your Team Have Esprit de Corps?



“Esprit de Corps (definition) a sense of unity and of common interests and responsibilities, as developed among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, enterprise, etc.”


As a teen, I was a member of Air Cadets. One of the things we worked towards was having Esprit de Corps – in my memory, I would suggest it was about the pride of the squadron. I also remember feeling that we were winners when we had it!

I’ve been thinking about the overlap between Esprit de Corps and motivated teams and here is my conclusion:

To have Esprit de Corps, there needs to be a clearly articulated and understood mutual goal. We knew our goal of each event – whether it was on the orientation course, the rifle range or on the airfield. We were informed of the rewards and risks and we accepted any challenge.

We needed to believe (no, we needed to know) that our team members had our backs – both in times of challenge and success! We had to be collaborators and support one another – to see the best in each other. And at times, hold each other accountable so they could see the best in themselves!

We were our best cheering squad! We would encourage and help out one another by using personal strengths to lift each other up. We helped one another to embrace and move beyond our personal challenges and weakness. It’s amazing the power of a kind word and deed!

We worked hard together. We took care of the small details. Like spit shining our boots until they were as reflective as a mirror, pressing our uniforms because we all knew that how we presented ourselves made a strong impact on others – and demanded respect. We reflected back on what we had done well and where we could improve. And we practiced on our drills until we became a precision machine – each of us playing an integral part of our success!

We played hard together. Yes, we celebrated our wins! We championed our squadron, with pride in our accomplishments! We had really good times together – both when we were “at cadets” and when we socialized together!

How are these 5 areas expressed in your leadership and your team? I challenge you to take one area and work on it!

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