The Power of a Team

The reason that seesaws have two seats is because that way there is always someone to bring you back up when you go down. – Unknown

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Recently, I had the opportunity to let my inner Tarzan fly and hang out on a ropes course (that’s me in the white coat in the photo above, doing the Monkey Bars 40 feet in the air). I went with a group of people that I’ve known for a long time (some as long as ten years). They’re all business owners and part of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (a Mastermind group of sorts). The ropes course starts out easy and then gets progressively more difficult. The yellow balls in the photo below? They’re not stationary. They spin. And that wasn’t even the most difficult part of the course!

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The ropes course starts out on level green and at each level, you have the opportunity to leave or go on to the next level, culminating in level black (dramatic music plays).

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I started the day excited, signing my personal theme song (Spongebob Squarepants, “It’s the Best Day Ever”) and generally was chirpy cheerleader. The more challenging the course got, coupled with the temperature (brrrrrr! I was cold!), the less cheerful and confident I became. There was one horrifically scary looking ropes challenge. I watched person after person do it, growing less confident each and every time I watched someone struggle, swear and sweat their way across this particular course. I did NOT want to do it. I was cold. I was hungry. And chirpy cheerleader was nowhere to be found.

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But, my group was going and it was a team thing so, I gamely kept on. This is what happened when I hit the scary part of the course. The video isn’t great (email subscribers, you can only see the video by clicking through to the blog). It doesn’t look scary anymore but at the time, in the moment, it was terrifying. Listen to my team. They’re encouraging me. They’re giving me confidence. At the end when I do make it across, a huge cheer goes up as everyone celebrates with me.

The next guy on our team went. He’s about 300 pounds and 6 foot 5″. He’s a big guy. Not scared of anything. But midway through, he had difficulties and sat down on the course. No one was sure he was going to get up. But, our team kept encouraging him, gently telling him he could keep going on. And, in time, he got back up and finished the course. He was shaking when he was done.

Our team successfully made it through! YEAH! We were all on adrenaline highs. It was an amazing feeling. Our team, moved on through the course as a unit. Then we noticed the silence. We look back. Someone else is in trouble on the ropes course obstacle that we’ve all just completed. But, no one is cheering him on. No one is telling him he can do it. His team is standing, mutely looking on. My team all yells encouragement, but we’re far away and we’re not his tribe. He quits and needs to be rescued from the middle of the course.

My big guy turns to me and says, “The only difference between me and him is that I had you guys, cheering me on and encouraging me. Where was his team?”

For everything in life, we need a support team, cheerleaders to help keep the forward momentum and remind us that we’re not alone. Do you have a tribe? A group of people who won’t let you fail? If not, start investing in others and form that support team to ensure that you’re carried forward on a wave of shared vision and shared success.

18 Responses to “The Power of a Team”

  1. carmen says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! There’s something I will probably NEVER do (I hope!).:D
    Absolutely loved this post and everything you said about teamwork though! Congratulations on making it through. I’ll bet it felt good to complete it!

    • Anne-Marie says:

      You would LOVE it. It is so scary yet so exhilarating at the same time. If you ever get a chance, just do it! =)

  2. Stephenie says:

    That brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful for you guys and what a message you are sending!!! Love it!

  3. Stephanie Wade says:

    Love this post! My team is my Awesome family and wonderful friends. They cheer me on when things get tough. Just when my heart is on the floor…there they are, telling me “Go Momma!” or “You can do IT!”. It makes me cry(happy tears)thinking how much my “Team” means to me. Thank you for reminding me just how lucky I am :D
    Great job getting through the course! You Rock,Soapy Momma!

    • Anne-Marie says:

      So glad that you have such a strong support around you; that is key for long term success in anything. =)

  4. Cecelia says:

    I got choked up watching your video, listening to your ‘team’ and realizing that in life there are times that as Stephanie put it so well “our heart is on the floor”. What a remarkable world we would have if we picked people up (literally and by encouragement) when they are down or simply trying to ‘make it through’. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us. I’d definately want YOU on my cheering team if I had a choice. Best,

    • Anne-Marie says:

      I choke up watching the video too! There was SO much emotion associated with finishing the ropes course. And before I started it, I never would have guessed that finishing the course would make me feel so absolutely high on happiness, pride, joy and teamwork. =)

  5. Mellifera says:

    I have a great husband. :)

  6. I LOVE this! I have recently formed a Mastermind group with a few friends/colleagues and though we’re just getting started, I feel this same energy being established with them. It makes all the difference in the world to have at least that group of people behind you in everything you do, encouraging you and helping you when you struggle. You expressed this so well! Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Anne-Marie says:

      You are going to love having a Mastermind group. I always say that their successes help slingshot me forward – they inspire me and make me want to excel and do better at everything I do. I hope you have the same feeling about your group. =)

  7. Karl B says:

    Nice job! Makes me wish I could still rock climb!

  8. Erin says:

    Oh Anne-Marie, I felt your pain watching that video! In our last year of high school we went on camp did a high-ropes course which was extremely scary for me. I froze halfway through and I remember my friends encouraging me below until I was able to finish it.

    A really lovely example of how important it is to have support around you. I have a wonderful husband who is always cheering me on, not to mention an amazing family and group of friends :)

  9. This is such a great story and reminder. Thank you for sharing it, and for giving us a glimpse of your own triumph so high in the air. Go team!

  10. Heather says:

    Love it!!! Those courses are so much fun when you have a good team to help you through.

    True for everything :) Thanks for sharing.

  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE THE VIDEO!!! You are amazing girl!!! :)

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