If you are not in a team then honestly I think you should find one quickly. Even if you have had negative preconceptions from team work in a corporation, you will find this different. At first I thought a team would be a hindrance … but it really isn’t, it makes the experience more real.
Arriving late into the 30 Day Challenge last year wasn’t a problem but one thing I missed out on was the interaction with a team. This didn’t really concern me as my experience of team work stemmed from the last decade of corporate training and the headaches or running teams, being part of teams, even resourcing teams. This experience instilled in everyone all the things that a team must have to be effective but it came at a price of the social problems of team members not pulling their weight, the administrative waste of time that was excused as reporting and the awful feeling of management of a team having too many heads. Well, not being part of a team seemed to me a SMART idea, if I may disuse the term.
I have been part of teams since, but really only a walk on part, backing up people who knew of my skills in a previous incarnation and supporting them at conferences should difficult questions arise. But that wasn’t the same; it was a fleeting team of people of whom I have not even an email of contact.
So enough of me rambling suffice it to say I was not interested at all in teams and didn’t want to be part of one.
Well the Challenge appeared this year, starting in July and I had made a conscious but firm decision to test out the whole thing by following their process.
The first thing on the agenda was to form a team! Well I must say being a lone wolf suited me fine, it hadn’t caused me any problems but the decision to follow the program was something I knew I shouldn’t go back on. So I looked through the team forum to see what was there. I decided I could create one and run it myself, to keep everything running SMART or take a back seat and just follow a herd. You can see all the negative attitudes I had here can’t you?
Well my opinion of a team has quickly changed.
I joined someone online who had the foresight to set up a space, a Facebook page, called ‘The Challenge UK’ and I asked if I could join. I was thinking of the back seat follow, but in my mind giving it a chance and accept the experience.
The paradigm has shifted very much so from the corporate team one where budgets, man hours and reporting reigned. There was no one to report to, no team leader, no goal except one.
“To help each other finish the Challenge with as much success as possible.”
I found the members of the team were interesting people all with varying skills and strengths, which gives anyone who has worked by themselves a more complete idea of their own strengths and weaknesses. A barrage of questions, answers, tips and information has ensued in a mixture of Facebook discussion, DropBox and Skype Channel and it has been a regular occurrence. You learn from each other’s strengths and knowledge and become concerned if anyone has any difficulties.
The image I have now is of a journey, the team formed within the journey are people around you following the same path, there are in the same place and it would be absurd not to talk, not to ask for help or give help to those needing it. The success of the team depends on those who wish to continue in it to complete the journey and I must say at this early stage I know it will.
What you find is that it keeps you on the right road in this journey. If anyone wanders off it is noticed and if you are still part of the team you either feel obliged to get back on the path or help someone else depending on your ability to keep up.
… and did I say the members of this team are really interesting! That is an important factor in remaining interested and I am lucky for finding them.
I have learned so much already from my team and it has all been a positive experience. If you are not part of a team now, get into one quickly.
Even if like me your preconceptions need to be changed.