While in Cape Town, South Africa, my friends and I decided to climb Lion’s Head, an iconic mountain that is frequented by locals and tourists. We were eager to make it to the top in order to catch a beautiful sunset. However, we only had a limited amount of time to do so. The closer we got to the top, the steeper and more unsteady the mountain became. There were areas where we had to pull and lift each other as we climbed. It was definitely a team effort. When we finally made it to the top, we were all soaked with sweat and exhausted, but the view made it all worth it! So, why am I telling you a story about lifting and climbing with my friends up a mountain?
- To simply let you know that in order to climb a steep mountain with your friends in a short amount of time to see a sunset, you have to literally lift as you climb.
- To offer a visual of what the phrase “lift as you climb” looks like before we jump into this month’s lesson.
Lift as you climb means to bring others with you on your journey to success. In many instances, people credit their mentors, someone who showed them the ropes, for their success. In April’s post, I AM BECAUSE YOU ARE, I mentioned that Archbishop Desmond Tutu “emphasized that as human beings, we rely on one another to survive. We are interdependent creatures by nature.” With that said, it is important that we recognize the power of accountability and teamwork.
Let me explain.
Recently, we were working with a group of 4th grade Scholars on one of our 10-week project-based learning programs. In order for them to successfully complete their deliverables, the Scholars needed to internalize the importance of accountability and teamwork. One day, as the teams were working, I noticed a Scholar sitting in the corner in tears. When I asked what was wrong, he explained that his team was working too fast and he could not keep up. He said that they were not listening to his request to slow down and help him out. I found this ironic because I had just finished explaining to the Scholars the importance of accountability and teamwork a week prior. Long story short, I had to re-emphasize to the team that if one member falls short, the ENTIRE team falls short. The team was able to regroup and think of ways to play to EVERYONE’S strengths and compensate for EVERYONE’S weaknesses without leaving ANYONE “behind”.
Here at WellTraveled, we emphasize accountability and teamwork in the programs that we provide because of our desire to equip our Scholars to become the future global leaders.
We define accountability as the willingness by a person or group of people to accept responsibility for one’s actions and decisions. Upon completion of our programs, Scholars, educators and parents walk away with a first-hand experience of how accountability:
- Creates greater productivity and camaraderie on a team that is working towards a common goal.
- Encourages team members to focus on the results and abandon the excuses.
- Drives T.T.I. (Total Team Involvement) where each member is invested in each other’s performance and success.
- Raises the team standard and encourages deeper commitment to the work at hand.
We define teamwork as working together with other people in the interest of a common cause or a shared goal. Upon the completion of our programs, Scholars, educators and parents walk away with an understanding that teamwork:
- Shares the work of a collective goal and seeks to evenly distribute team members’ responsibilities.
- Allows team members to motivate and encourage each other while collaborating on a shared task.
- Improves efficiency as each team member focuses on his/her areas of strength.
- Develops interpersonal skills.
When it is all said and done, as global citizens, we are all on the same team and should be accountable for one another. We all want the same thing: a happy, healthy and successful life with family and friends to share it with. Therefore, it is our responsibility to lift one another as we climb this mountain called LIFE.
Students, Educators & Parents - Take a moment to reflect on a time when someone lifted you. Think about ways in which you can do the same for someone else starting right now!
Stay Educated. Stay Empowered. Stay WellTraveled.