Really…. why team? Complementary competencies…. A sense of belonging…. Cross-learning opportunities… there are many answers to this question. I was reminded of one important answer during the Gobi race.
The picture is my sketch of a scene in the Gobi race. It was 3:55am of Day 3 in a middle of nowhere in the Gobi desert – It was quite a magical moment for me. The light in the tent would be turned on at 4am to wake us up to start the last day of the Gobi race. I somehow woke up earlier by myself…. probably around 3:30am. Half-awake in my cozy sleeping bag, I calculated in my mind how much time it would take to finish the 28km if we maintain 4.5 min / km…… or even 5 min / km…. I also tried to change the setting on my smart watch to show pace for every km, but I failed. I then quietly sat myself up…. thinking to pack up stuff for the day.
To my surprise, I noticed some others were waking up as well. Very quickly, I realized actually all were up, packing in the dark, before the ‘wake-up’ call, at the ‘daunting’ 4am!!! I felt energized, touched, hopeful and eager for the day!!! Of course, what happened for the rest of the day in the team loaded me with even more feeling on the notion of team.
What made ALL of us wake up so early in the morning? Why did I feel so good about such a scene? It is about a group of people committing strongly to do our best – much more than what each of us normally would. On reflection, I know that such a scene would still touch me deeply even if we finished last on the day. It is not about the result. It is also not about winning, award, or how others people see us. It is about committing together to stretch ourselves for a common goal.
It could be intrinsically motivating. I almost forget completely such power… since the sports team in university time.
What if we could remind the executive teams of such possibility?
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