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Some years ago, I was at a multi-day corporate retreat. There were some useful presentations. But a highlight was the day-long rafting trip. And while I’m not a mister whitewater daredevil, it was fun.

But, from my point of view, while various folks talked about how much this experience was part of the culture, I didn’t get it.

Because I knew these folks. And the folks who did best in the raft were not the same as the folks who did best at work. In my own case, when I’m in a raft I want someone else to tell me what to do. It’s even pretty relaxing. Forward paddle. Back paddle. When the water’s calm, cool off with a swim. 

But at that company, as in most of my career, I was the person calling the shots. 

It was a fun day. And I strongly believe that people like having fun with their coworkers on occasion. And as a reward for hard work, days like that make people feel appreciated. Which is a good thing.

But I don’t think that fun days like this help people execute better when they return to work.

Because most folks are very different on the river than in the office.

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