Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Team Chemistry Declines When You Go "Palms Up" Like Boston's Kyrie Irving

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Sunday afternoon I found myself at a restaurant with my wife. Not a fancy restaurant, mind you, but the kind of place that has sports playing on large televisions. On the TV nearest our table was the Boston Celtics versus the Houston Rockets. Perfect Sunday afternoon NBA action.
Because the place was crowded, the volume was muted on the TV. As a result, I wasn’t able to hear the broadcasters analyze the game, but it didn’t matter.
What I saw spoke volumes.
As a writer, especially in the world of sports, I’ve learned to pay attention to body language. Athletes, coaches, and team officials are trained to speak in useless clichés, but if you’re paying attention, they tell you a lot with their bodies.
Arched eyebrows. Crossed arms. Leaning in. Leaning back. Looking away from you. Looking you dead in the eyes.
Sometimes, on rare occasions, even the simple elegance of a raised middle finger.
Point is, even without words, the body tells the truth—and there was a lot of truth being told Sunday in Boston.
I’ve learned something profound through my study of great teams: on any team, you can have multipliers, or you can have dividers. During that Celtics-Rockets game, I saw examples of both.
Dividers are those teammates who, when the going gets tough, turn up their palms as if to say, “Who knows? Not me” or “Not my fault!” That was the exact gesture I saw Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, Boston’s best player, make twice during the first quarter.
Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
After a play had gone wrong, the team turned to Irving, their leader, and he turned his palms to the air as if to say, “What do you want me to do? That’s on you.”
I immediately looked at my wife and said, “This is going to get ugly.” And it did—a few minutes later, the Celtics were at the wrong end of a scoring run and down by nearly 20 points. The team was clearly out of sorts, not communicating, not connecting, not functioning as a team.
And why would they? Their leader was playing the role of a divider instead of a multiplier.
You see, multipliers don’t go palms up—they tap their chest as if to say, “That’s on me.” That was what Rockets guard Chris Paul did after one of his teammates fumbled away one of Paul’s passes. Candidly, it was the other guy’s fault, but Paul tapped his chest, took responsibility, and turned an awkward moment into a learning moment.
I wonder, in your office, which role do you play?
Are you a “palms up” teammate—one who points out errors, passes the blame, or demands accountability…but only for others?
Or are you a “chest tap” teammate—one who takes responsibility, shares the credit and holds yourself to a higher standard than anyone expects?
Chances are, if you’ve spent these last few seconds thinking about it, you’re not a “palms up” teammate. Dividers are rarely reflective; they prefer to live under their own delusions. Multipliers, on the other hand, are quick to pause and assess their own role within the dynamic of a team. It’s part of what makes them such great teammates—their humility, authenticity, and chemistry are contagious.
As I sat there, watching the game with my wife, I couldn’t help but think about things at home too. We’re a parenting team—so do I parent “palms up” or “chest tap”? It was a sobering thought as we watched the final seconds tick off the clock, another lost game for a Boston team that was supposed to compete for a title this year and instead is mired in fifth place in its own conference.
I don’t know what the future holds for the Celtics, but based on what I saw Sunday night, it won’t be good. Even though they made the final score reasonably close, it was obvious to anyone watching that their team chemistry was bad and trending worse.
And we don’t need words to understand why.

Michigan College Launches Four-year Degree In Cannabis Chemistry

Hundreds of students have given the term higher education a new meaning, enrolling in a four-year degree in medicinal plant chemistry, The Associated Press reported Monday.
The news outlet reported that nearly 300 students are majoring in the subject at Northern Michigan University. The area of study was first introduced roughly two years ago, and other colleges have since launched similar programs.
Professor Brandon Canfield, who proposed the major, told the AP that students in the Northern Michigan program won't grow marijuana, but will instead learn how to measure and extract medical compounds from plants like St. John's Wort and apply those skills to marijuana.
“All of our graduates are going to be qualified to be analysts in a lab setting,” Canfield told the AP, highlighting the boon seen in jobs in the cannabis industry.
The AP reported that Minot State University in North Dakota will launch a similar offering this spring, and noted that Ohio State University, Harvard and Vanderbilt each offer classes focused on marijuana policy.
Michigan voters last year approved a referendum to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The state joined 10 others and the District of Columbia that have passed such laws.
Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHillary Clinton says she’s not running in 2020 Beto O'Rourke calls for nationwide legalization of marijuana Michigan college launches four-year degree in cannabis chemistry MORE (D-N.J.) introduced a bill last week that would legalize marijuana across the country and remove the drug from the federal list of controlled substances.
The marijuana industry added to its lobbying team in Washington, D.C., for 2019 as it gears up to push legislation.

10 Celebrity Pairs Who Have Undeniable Chemistry Both Onscreen And Off

As fantastic as many of our favorite actors are at their craft, sometimes it takes a special extra spark to really bring our onscreen love stories to life.
It’s often clear when the palpable connection between two characters we’re watching is actually the result of real off-screen chemistry between the actors portraying them. At times this leads to a real life-life romance—just look at Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth—but more often it just leaves us wanting more.
After Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s intimate performance at the 2019 Academy Awards got everyone talking about whether or not they might actually be in love with each other, we found ourselves thinking about other onscreen duos who share that special something off-screen as well.
Below, check out a list of celebrity pairs who boast genuine, undeniable chemistry both on and off the screen.

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