I’ve Got Your Back!

A person is most vulnerable at their back – they can’t see what’s happening. That’s where the expression “I’ve got your back” comes from. So when someone has your back, they’re protecting you where you are most vulnerable. 3 recent experiences have reinforced this fundamental truth:

1. My wife and I watched the movie “42” over the weekend – it’s about Jackie Robinson and what he endured as the first black player in major league baseball. Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, had instructed Jackie to NOT fight back – to endure the harassment. During one game, the manager of the opposing team was viciously taunting Jackie each time he came up to bat, causing him to fail twice. The third time, one of Jackie’s teammates walked over and got in the opposing manager’s face. Until then, Jackie had been all alone. This made all the difference – having a teammate protecting his back.

2. The memorial service today for Bob White, a highly respected civic leader in Yamhill County, emphasized how much he gave to his community, and how much the community gave back. By definition, a leader needs to support his/her team, and to have their support. Bob lived that principle.

3. I was reading scripture at a worship service last Sunday. I printed out the passages for easier reading. Unfortunately, I had misplaced the last page, and fumbled and halted, extremely embarrassed. The congregation could see the passage projected onto screens which faced them; I could not. After I faltered, the congregation read the final verses aloud. They applauded when the reading was finished! After I recovered from being extremely embarrassed, I truly appreciated what the congregation did – they had my back. That’s a team at its finest – they applaud and hold each other up during a person’s difficult times.

What similar experiences have you had in your teams? What did that feel like when your team came to your rescue? What did it feel like when your team rescued a team-mate?

Do the teams and groups in your current work environment have your (and each other’s) back? Let’s have coffee and chat.

Gary Langenwalter

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