“It takes a village to raise a child.” -Proverb | “It takes a team to raise a roof.” -Project foreman
When driving with my wife down a certain stretch of the King’s Highway 17, there will be a singular moment when I actually know what she is thinking. It’s a short window; a rare opportunity as I seldom know what my wife is thinking (although she feels I should through symbiosis). But approaching a hill, usually from only the west, she will tell me, as if for the first time: “I helped build this stretch of highway.” And she did. It’s true. While completing her nursing diploma back in the late 80’s, she had spent a hot and dusty summer as a “Flagwoman” while the highway was being revamped. They were twelve-hour days that paid well. She remembers most of the team members she worked alongside, each with their own specialized skills and personalities. She’s proud of that road. She’s proud of her contribution. I know she’s proud because she tells me every time we drive over ‘her road.’
All extreme marvels of ancient construction and engineering have one thing in common: it took many people with specialized skills to bring each project to life. Stone masons, surveyors, metal workers, carpenters, bakers, people who made rope (there must be a name for this trade, hang on, I’ll Google it – okay – nope, there is no formal name, just ‘rope maker’), all working together to erect pyramids, construct roads, castles and colossal plazas. Yes, an individual may dream big, but for an epic dream to translate into an epic reality requires an epic team. The bigger the dream, the bigger the team.
There are a million folksy sayings about the importance of leading, but becoming a truly notable leader means defying the odds. In all of history, great leaders are few and far between. There are far more memorable teams, in sports, entertainment, business, science, theology etc. So, where does this leave the 99.99999 percent that are not busy planning a coup d’état? It leaves us learning new skills, sharing common experiences, and with the collective ability to move an immovable force; to build a pyramid.