What can Pencil Power Teach us about Teamwork?
I came across this ‘ode to a pencil’ and found it a simple yet insightful parable, outlining five very important lessons both for life and teamwork.
Ode to a Pencil
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box. “There are five things you need to know before I send you out into the world.” Always remember your pencil power and you will become the best pencil you can be.
1. Everything you do will always leave a mark
2. You can always correct the mistakes you make
3. What is important is what is inside of you
4. In life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better
5. To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the hand that holds you
In reflection, I realized how much we can take from these lessons in regards to teamwork and leadership.
1. As a leader, you have the ability to significantly impact the lives of those around you. Leaders influence how others go home at night and how they treat their families & friends, they affect the self esteem & confidence of others, and they impact how people move forward in their lives. We all have the ability to make a mark – what mark do you want to leave?
2. We are all humans who make mistakes. We also have the ability to right our wrong’s, learn and grow into a better person. Being vulnerable, admitting your mistakes and making it right helps develop a solid foundation of trust and respect within a team.
3. Every team member is a special person with unique strengths, talents and abilities. When these strengths are recognized, respected and leveraged, individuals are able to thrive and the overall team performance will increase.
4. We all need to be constantly sharpened; when we are challenged to be our best, we are given the opportunity to achieve our best. Sometimes this sharpening is not comfortable; however, is a necessary step in moving forward as professionals, team members and leaders. Continually practice becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.
5. In a high performing team, individuals rely on each other. Everyone plays an important role and team members count on one another to do what they are supposed to do. Our actions and interactions impact those around us. Being accountable to one another and demonstrating commitment and dedication are a few characteristics that define a true team player.
Red Lodge Ropes Course, a division of NexLevel Challenge, works with businesses that share our mindset, philosophy, and values of Connection, Fun & Excellence. Our powerful experiential training programs create high performance teams.