There is no “I” in TEAM: LCC Day 1

September 19, 2011

I joined 26 classmates Thursday for our first day of Leadership Calhoun County. To look at us, you wouldn’t think we had much in common. We spanned both ends of the spectrum when it came to age, physical abilities, height, weight, and backgrounds. Some in the group were born and raised here. Others, like myself, have lived in the Calhoun County area less than a year.

Yet a day that started with us struggling to remember the 26 other names in our group ended, at least for me, with a feeling that we’d all gained 26 new friends and that we all had much more in common than we’d realized. By the end of the day our group had scaled a 12 foot wall without any ropes or climbing gear, walked blindfolded through the woods, passed each team member through a handful of tiny holes no bigger than the diameter of a basketball rim, and dropped ourselves blindly off a perfectly good wooden post. 

Completing our challenges required as much mental exercise as it did physical. It was literally impossible for one person to complete any of the tasks alone. This forced us to plan and work together. Some in our group were apprehensive about the challenges. There were others who, I must admit, I doubted could meet the physical demands of some tasks. But we put our trust in each other and got through each challenge as a team. With each activity, different people filled different roles, sometimes leading and other times taking direction. It reminded me that effective leadership means knowing when you need to lead and when you need to be led.

It was obvious the pride we felt as a team when someone, who was unsure of themselves or seemed physically frail, completed the tasks with the help of teammates. I think watching them succeed was the most inspiring part of the day for me. It was also uplifting to see that 27 different people could start the day as mostly strangers and finish it with a feeling of camaraderie and accomplishment. It makes me proud to live in this community and excited for the future of Calhoun County.

By Contributing Author

Derek Jensen

The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce         (256)237-3536               www.calhounchamber.com

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