A few weeks ago I had the privilege of going to Serbia with an organisation close to my heart, helping leaders and team members with their strategy and planning for community transformation. On the plane, I began to read my obligatory overpriced magazine bought from the airport and found a great article recalling an expedition team of 100 army reservists who embarked on trying to replicate the journey took by the famous Ernest Shackleton across Antarctica. Ernest who I might hear you say? My thoughts exactly! I continued to read with anticipation and I learned a great deal but most of all found a lot of synergy with the leadership and teamship role that both sets of explorers and team members played.
For example, the feeling of isolation coupled with the daunting reality of what still lies ahead. Often as leaders it can feel very isolated and I began to wonder how isolated I may feel in that situation but realised that’s probably true in my current role. Managing projects, especially in business and change transformation can be exactly that. You work tirelessly to deliver a real benefit to the customer and actual benefits to the end users but I’m sure you know it can be a thankless task. Being the only person up front driving through change that no one wants to embrace with a product no one wants can be overwhelming.
However, it was the teamwork that was absolutely critical and saw them through. This quote jumped off the page and I wanted to shout a loud YES I AGREE…but I didn’t. Too many times in our industry I have seen the success of delivery not only down to motivating and encouraging leadership but of the incredible togetherness, stability and assurance that true teamship creates. Just as the team pulling together to encourage one another to carry on to their goal to reach Antarctica it is vital we adopt the same culture and principle, no matter the cost for us, selflessly working to achieve the objective; Stronger Together
I would imagine a few of us have had to face the extreme conditions, isolation and challenges as a South Pole expedition team but our human instinct nearly always kicks in, do what we can to survive. As I right this article, the morning after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, more and more stories of heroism of our firefighters and survivors are being published. Teamship is everything whatever situation you face today, value and encourage your team well and you will achieve your goal!