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Clubs and Camaraderie

A few weeks ago I went to the pub for breakfast, dressed in this year’s Lion’s gear. We were supporting England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the battle for the Lions Tour series against the All Blacks.

I have always been amused by the playful camaraderie that builds up during a match of some importance.  The supporters choose to wear the same clothes, wear weird hats and to make strange facial gestures to belong to an order.

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Later that day, we went to watch Sand Rugby on Weymouth beach.  It was a “friendly” tag tournament with a mix of ages and genders.  Yet still there was the coordinating strips, team talks and an obvious gestural desire to be part of a ‘winning’ team.

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There were some musicians playing on the prom, whilst the teams were warming up.  When I looked over, I couldn’t help but notice how this band of merry men had their own very different way of working together to produce something of value to them.

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I am currently a ‘member’ of several social groups and business networks.  Even though most have the same guiding principles, it is quite surprising how the norms differ.  These “rules” evolve from rituals, routines and stories, as much as the organisational structures, leadership and control systems.  Whilst they are not always unanimous, members live by them for the good of the whole. 

So what if you feel like you don’t fit in?  Is there is something in the culture of your ‘club’ that doesn’t sit well with you?  If so, find another club.  

But if you are new and still getting to know everyone? Remember that connecting with someone over shared interests, quirks and dress-sense doesn’t take so long.  Plus those shared values, pretty much guarantee a good and true friendship.  

And that’s, after all, why we choose to belong!

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