“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Teamwork is the best process for learning. Take, for example, the Wright Brothers – who through hard work, humility, and tenacity inspired the world, and set the stage for all other modern developments in aerospace. Failure after spectacular failure led to success. The most beautiful thing? They did it together. Having a buddy or someone to motivate you, mirror you, and accompany you is so very important in life. A team starts with another person and can expand upward from there. The chemistry of the team starts within individual relationships.
Finding your buddy
So how can we emulate the Wright Brothers and find the perfect partner for ourselves? Opposites might attract, but you don’t want to be too different from each other – because shared beliefs, interests, and values can be the thread that keeps a partnership together when times get tough. A great buddy can be your perfect pick-me-up when you feel like you are failing. You might not always believe in yourself. How wonderful to have someone you can bounce ideas off and lean on, someone who shares a common goal, or needs to improve at something. A person who sees the “real you”. It’s a challenge to find this person, but it is just as challenging to be this person for someone else.
What qualities did Orville and Wilbur have that made them a successful team and kept them together right up until Wilbur died in 1912? Their personalities complimented each other. Wilbur was excellent at completing whatever projects he started. He also tended toward mature judgments and was very level-headed. On the other hand, Orville was the innovator, who let his imagination run wild. He was the dreamer who had hope, and faith that what he saw in his mind’s eye could be done. Wilbur and Orville had a shared interest, and that fascination spurred them on to do test after test, even though they failed more than they succeeded. How many times do you fail before you give up? Wouldn’t it be great to have a partner like one of the Wright Brothers who pushed you to try just once more?
The Cecily Group – Teamwork at the core
That’s why a buddy is something that we put our focus on at The Cecily Group. It’s an important part of establishing a team. Particularly in a micro-startup like we are, with only a few employees. We are all working remotely, and since the pandemic, have had very few possibilities to work together in person. We made a big effort through our project “batteries fully loaded” to allow our awesome team to work together in mini-dynamic teams. Part of creating a mini-dynamic team is identifying the capabilities of each team member. Mirroring the Wright Brothers, some of our team members are more outgoing and ambitious, while others are quieter and more serious. Experiencing each other’s outlook and way of working can help us see ourselves in a new light and choose how we want to go further.
Shared purpose is key
The next part of it is having a shared purpose. Along with having shared goals, we also share a handful of values that are the touchstone of our little community. It’s where we find answers when things don’t go just right, or don’t turn out quite the way we thought they would. You can read my article on our company’s values, and how you can write your own, right here.
Teamwork = perseverance
Finally, humility and an untiring spirit keep this boat afloat. Anything can happen when you have a vision, a little money to get started, and a brand-new team. That’s why it is so important that everyone is on board with sharing the successes and failures that will no doubt happen as your vision evolves. Finding the right people with the right skills is important. More important than that is finding the right people who can work well together and understand what it means to be a supportive partner. You might have a tight budget, limited time, or only a partial view of the whole picture. The right team members will support you, and each other, through each milestone. But this type of teamwork requires practice, and that’s why we allow our awesome team to work in mini-dynamic teams.
Building good habits
Project fully loaded is an initiative to build better habits, keep your batteries charged and take a measurement of our overall wellness. This is a long-term project without a deadline or other time restrictions. Participation is voluntary. Regardless of the type of betterment, the awesome team members choose to make they agree to share their tips, progress, and experiences as they go along. The purpose of this exercise put into practice one of our most important and valuable values “Fully Charged Batteries Included.” The Awesome Team Members choose their buddies based on their interests and goals. This encourages relationship building and an opportunity to work together no matter what you do for the company.
Definition of goals
Part of this project is defining what goal we want to achieve. For example, daily meditation. We’ve found through our project that it is best to break these goals down into smaller habits, working on them for a short amount of time, in our case 90 days. Once we’ve created a habit and practiced it for 90 days, we try to layer another new, good habit on top of it. For instance, 10 minutes of meditation followed by 10 minutes of stretching or yoga. Self-care is a huge part of our project, and one of the main things that our buddies encourage us to do. Doing these things as a team will always teach you more. We share what we experience, read and research.
Another side effect of the buddy system is that it allows us to mentor or teach other things that we may have more information about or have mastered. By teaching others, we verify that we understand the topic deeply. Only when we understand a subject or material at this deep level can we teach it to others. Therefore, teaching and learning are closely connected, and we love to give our awesome team opportunities to share what they know.
More than a buddy, a friend!
A key benefit of the Buddy System is the possibility to form a friendship. In this busy world, we have to plan and schedule something if we want to do it. Taking time to have fun with your buddy is not only a welcome respite from the serious business you are no doubt dealing with but a way to build a deeper connection with your team members. Laughter is the best medicine and sharing a joke or two, or having a little fun, can be an excellent motivator and help you keep things light. In turn, this will fuel your ideas and spur you on to work harder or try again.
Safe space for conflict
It is also great to have the opportunity to discuss or air grievances in a safe space. Having a confidante whom you can safely have a heated discussion with is an asset. The ability to defend your ideas and beliefs with passion, while considering the other person’s point of view is essential to your creative success. We encourage our employees to think like entrepreneurs. If someone is telling you that you can’t do something, or that something just won’t work, do you accept it? Do you defend your beliefs or theories? It’s fantastic to have a trusted buddy to bounce these wild ideas off, either identifying weak points you can work on, or reassuring you to keep innovating and follow your instinct.
Sharing builds trust
Most of the actions we take in life are the direct result of conversations, suggestions, and discussions between our most intimate circles. Why not extend that to our working colleagues? Working on the personal connections within your team is almost a safeguard for the times when things don’t go right, and your team has to rally to find a solution or hunker down until the storm passes. It also tightens the bonds between the individuals in your team. When you share goals, values, and desires it is almost an unspoken agreement to stick together and not let anything come between you.
The Wright Brothers motivated and inspired future generations to improve upon their work and passions. Also from Ohio, Neil Armstrong brought along on Apollo 11 a small piece of the muslin wing covering from the original Wright aircraft to the moon with him in 1969. We never know how our actions will inspire future generations. We can, however, motivate and support others through our actions and the good habits that we implement into our own lives. That’s why having and being a good buddy is so important. Wilbur and Orville most probably never would have achieved what they did alone. Highlighting each other’s strengths and compensating for each other’s weaknesses was key to their success. My wish for you is that this blog inspires you to encourage your teams to work together in their mini-dynamic teams, and see their dreams take flight!
Should you have any questions about the buddy system, the project fully loaded or team building, please feel free to contact me.