Our amazing little team has gone through a big transformation in the last couple of weeks (big for us anyway!).  We’ve said farewell to Eloise (more on that in a moment) and welcomed 3 new faces.  When you consider that we have a small team of 8, that is a pretty big change.

Last week, as a strategy ‘reward’ our small team climbed Tabletop Mountain together. We laughed about whether or not it was actually a ‘reward’ given that it’s not exactly an easy climb and not something that most people would think of as a prize to strive for.

But through the puffing, sweating and sore knees, it made me reflect.  It actually doesn’t really matter what you are doing. If we are doing something as a team, it is something that I will always prize.  The chance to spend time with these wonderful humans I get to call my colleagues is a reward in itself.  I watched as the fittest of us paused to encourage and guide the rest of us up the most challenging parts; I saw courage in the person who is intensely afraid of heights, clamber 192m high just to be part of it; and it was a wonderful opportunity to create another memory with someone who is moving on to their next challenge. Even those who weren’t able to do the climb were a part of the picnic table gathering after the descent.

When we think about ways to build culture and reward our people, I believe that it isn’t all about bean bags, fancy lunches or hefty bonuses.  The stuff that has the biggest impact, is what you do to truly connect as a team.  The things you remember are the times you’ve faced a challenge, helped each other through and been able to laugh about it together later. 

And from what I hear from our clients and friends in business, there is no shortage of challenges right now.  The business world seems to be ridiculously ‘busy’ and it is a self-perpetuating cycle.  I’m busy, so I put pressure on the next person because I need something from them, and I need it now.  So they put the pressure on the next person, and so on it goes. If you are caught in that cycle you will know it isn’t easy to break.  In fact, I don’t have the magic solution to that. 

What I will say is, remember the people around you. And make sure that you connect, support and value your team because they are the ones who will be standing on top of Tabletop Mountain with you on a Tuesday evening, taking in the sunset.  They are the ones who will give you the biggest sense of appreciation and pride in business.

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