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What is team work? Learn what makes a team successful in its tasks.

On Sunday, I participated in an activity that was to see us mount a 2500 seater tent. We were in a team which, from the look was well motivated to carry out the assignment ahead of them. This was my second time to be involved in a similar assignment; I remember the first time, it took a lot of time to complete. I actually left before the mission was complete (I had to ran an errand). What shocked me this time around was the ease and the speed we managed to complete the mountingt. In a short while, I was enjoying a meal! At least to regain the lost sugars, it went so fast.

Mounting a 2500 seater tent is no jest as I learnt; I was so novel and uninformed how such tent is mounted, it was all in my mind. It was not the usual 100 or 200-seater tent i have seen people mounting! The task is very involving requiring a lot wit, strategy and most importantly, leadership. I have heard of people, who mount 5000 seater tent; I envy them already!

This particular activity taught me many lessons which I want share with you. I will share two specific leadership lessons among many which I picked while mounting. I will concentrate on the team itself more than their leader.

Before I share, the person who was leading us in to mounting the tent, an expert in his field I must admit gave us clear instructions, he told us:

  • Raising the tent is very easy task
  • You must listen to instructions
  • If you are getting fatigue, you are overdoing it
  • He insisted, listen to instructions and follow them!

After the instruction, we kicked off and the following are key lessons I picked for a successful completion of a given task by any team.

The team must be dependable.

Being dependable is important to every team’s ability to complete tasks. Everyone on the team knows upon whom they can and cannot depend on.  At some point, we had to lift metal beams, heavy and sharp! We heavily dependent on the rest of the team to avoid injuries.

What do I mean by being dependable; if somebody on the crew repeatedly puts themselves and their plan ahead of what is paramount for the team, they have demonstrated themselves as undependable. When it came to mounting this tent, individual motives mattered.

Dependability means more than just wanting to be accountable. The desire requires also a good judgment to be of real value to the whole team. The metal beams that support the tent at the center were heavy and required us to hold longer awaiting the other crew lift up the other central beams, bowing to fatigue because of extended time holding the pillar would be detrimental and would cause serious injuries to other team members. Everyone had to be dependable; everyone one had to be willing to bear the pressure on his or her end, the second crew had to fix and lift the pillar in shortest time possible to release pressure from the first crew.

There should be consistent contribution .

Mounting a tent involves many small activities that all work together and which must be done at specific intervals in time. This brings me to the next lesson I picked and which is consistency in contribution. A common phrase goes like this; if you cannot hang on teammates all the time, then you cannot really depend on them any of the time. Consistency requires depth of character that allows people to follow through no matter how drained, abstracted, or overwhelmed they are. At some point, I found myself looking around for a place to sit down, I think the thought of seeing my teammates working while I sit overwhelmed me and I consistently went on pulling the tent and hammering the pounds deeper!

I salute the leader who goes by the name King’ori (Call him 5Bob!) who would have experienced at least one or four things below were it not his leadership skills which by the way, made us complete the assignment in a record time! Did I forget to say that, he bore a lot of energy which motivated the rest of us, who at some point were getting weary? He had a way of doing it. I admire the man.

  • You will be more miserable that you will burnout
  • You will fail in completing your work
  • Your team members will leave
  • Your team will lose respect for you

And what was the tent all about? Click here for more info.


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