Good for you TURN Header 1024x384 - Why TURN is Good For You

As teams at Cardinal know, I love talking about my view that student housing “TURN” is an awesome event for our teams. At first, I usually receive weird looks and the role of the eye which translates – “how can long days, stressful times and hard work be a huge positive for us”?

Well… for a few reasons:

The Value of Obstacles and Shared Hardship
It is well documented and studied that achieving a goal as a team by overcoming adversity is an extremely strong bonding experience – especially when there is a degree of physical challenge. The most common examples of this bonding are in sports and the military and this is why corporations often host “confidence courses” and other challenging events – like the Tough Mudder – that include a physical component.

Members of Cardinal Group and Lockton participating in the Tough Mudder Challenge in Colorado. The team building and bonding from this event were awesome!

Luckily in student housing, we have TURN. A month-long grind of moving furniture, trashing-out units and cleaning and painting. Everyone is sweaty and exhausted.

“Our findings show that pain is a particularly powerful ingredient in producing bonding and cooperation between those who share painful experiences,” says psychological scientist and lead researcher Brock Bastian of the University of New South Wales in Australia. “The findings shed light on why camaraderie may develop between soldiers or others who share difficult and painful experiences.” Source

The bonds formed during these challenging times are not flimsy or temporary. They are strong and permanent. When you meet student housing professionals that previously worked at the same community, they immediately start telling old war stories that start with “Remember that time during TURN…” Those memories and stories are priceless and are worth earning.

There is a growing conversation on the value of grit as one of the most desired traits among employees in a business climate of continual change.

Angela Duckworth studied people in various challenging situations, including National Spelling Bee participants, rookie teachers in tough neighborhoods, and West Point cadets, she found:

One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit.

Grit – like other traits – can be trained and developed. Like I say about leaders, Leaders are Made… Not Born. Grit is a skill that can be learned and trained and TURN helps that development. During TURN, you quickly see who is “all in” and who the team members are that you want on the team. As the quote above says, it is not the smartest person that you want on your team – it is the person that has unshakable determination. The person that will go the extra mile when exhausted. The person who will not quit on the team.

In one of my favorite movies, True Grit, the main character, Mattie Ross, is trying to pick the best tracker to help her find a man wanted for killing her father. She inquires with the local Sheriff on which one to choose

Mattie Ross: Who’s the best marshal they have?

Sheriff: Bill Waters is the best tracker. The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn, a pitiless man, double tough, fear don’t enter into his thinking. I’d have to say L.T. Quinn is the straightest, he brings his prisoners in alive.

Mattie Ross: Where would I find this Rooster?

For those of you who have seen the movie, you know that Mattie picks Rooster and delivers the title line of the movie – “I heard you were a man of True Grit.” She did not choose the best or the straightest for the job – she chose the one that had Grit.

Team First
I love football. Love it so much that I never played it ???? . But I love it for the same reasons that I loved being a Marine and why I love working at Cardinal – because they all teach you to put the team and the mission over self. We use sports metaphors too often in business, but when it comes to TURN, it is appropriate. The great Coach John Harbaugh wrote an article on why Football is important despite growing concern over CTE and other health concerns. The quote below is about football but with TURN inserted instead:

TURN is hard. It’s tough. It demands discipline. It teaches obedience. It builds character. TURN is a metaphor for life.

It asks a to push himself further than he ever thought he could go. It literally challenges his physical courage. It shows him what it means to sacrifice. It teaches him the importance of doing his job well. We learn to put others first, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. And we learn to lift our teammates – and ourselves – up together.

Nothing Worth Doing is Easy…
And finally, TURN allows for the sense of accomplishment. No one ever brags about accomplishing an easy goal or winning an easy championship – except for the 2017-8 Golden State Warriors! Overcoming adversity is amazing for building character and I am thankful that TURN allows for that. TURN builds characters, build teams and provides a sense of accomplishment. For that reason… TURN is good for you.