Together, with my two brothers, two of my nieces and a good friend, we recently took part in the Sark to Jersey swimming challenge. And quite a challenge it was!! Rough seas, changing ocean currents and reefs, all of which we, as a team, had to deal with together, either swimming, handling the boat at close quarters to the swimmer, reconfiguring our planned route to adapt to the winds/currents, all whilst keeping seasickness at bay. There were parts of the day that were not that enjoyable, a bit stressful, and a bit uncomfortable, but the majority of the day was clear to see that we were working very well as a team, with huge amounts of shared support and decisions that had to be made, made as a team and made pretty swiftly. The result of us completing the swim in seven hours, the last couple of hours being an absolute joy with all our previous planning now paying dividends.
Looking back at the day and thinking about being part of a solid team, with a shared goal and support for each other got me thinking about how important, productive and successful a team can be in a work setting. Being part of a strong team with good leadership, and support will ultimately result in success for all members of the team, from the trainee to the head of the team. And with success comes career progression, and so the members of the team all push forward. Each member of the team learns from one another through mentoring and supporting, shared knowledge and balanced views on decisions to be made based on each individual’s own technical knowledge and experience.
It’s these teams we hope to be part of at work, it’s this team culture we should be asking about when interviewing for a new role or striving to create and maintain in our present roles. Without such a culture, without a team we are flying solo, no support, no one to bounce ideas off, no one to suggest a correction to the course or to help you learn from their experience, knowledge and insights.
So, after a day either on the boat or in the sea, all of the teams who took part looked how I felt – more than a little wobbly, exhausted and exhilarated, and when it was announced that the idea for next year’s challenge was a relay swim Jersey to France, there was a whoop and cheers from everyone there, well just about everyone!! Bring it on, more folks willing to push themselves completely outside of their comfort zone because they are part of a team and know they can rely on and provide support to the team.
Oh, and the challenge raised c£10,000 for Dementia Jersey!! Superb!! See you out in the deep blue sea for next year’s challenge!!