If you wanna go fast, go alone. If you wanna go far, go with your tribe.
Native American Proverb
I’m experiencing this right now on two fronts.
On the first front, I’m out at Yellowstone National Park with my family and we are having an amazing experience — most of the time. The van ride with the crew, although long, and the vistas and the singular breathtaking area that Yellowstone is defies description. But, the truth is that the hiking trails are slow going for me, whereas the boys and Julie can scoot right up them. So, they decided at multiple decision points not to just run off and leave me, but to slow their pace and not cover as much distance so we can stay together. They loved me enough to not run off and leave me which they could have on every single trail we’ve been on and we have been on a lot of them. This has been humbling and encouraging both. I love who my sons are becoming as young men with compassion and smarts and humor and all that. It has shone through on the trails as they slowed to let me travel close to them. I am grateful.
The second area where I’m experiencing the power of going with a tribe is in my work as a Pastor of a thriving church. The team back in Kentucky is doing great work on all the different fronts it takes to care for people and advance our work while I’m out here enjoying life with my family. The truth is that when Julie and I started this church we were fortunate enough, and wise enough, to bring a great team onto the mission with us. And, that has made all the difference. Each one of the members of our team have had to slow down and take breaks at times for health, or travel, or family reasons. And, the great news is that we have been willing to carry one another burdens and adjust our pace as needed to move along together. And, its been beautiful and powerful and it’s made for a healthy church. I’m so grateful that I can be out here with my family and recharge and our church won’t miss a beat due to the team working back home. That’s what it means to go together. I am amazed by our team members. They are super talented and smart problem solvers and passionate about the mission we share. I’m humbled and grateful to have the chance to travel with them.
The truth is that either of these situations would have crushed my ego in years gone by. But, life has taught me a lot about limitations and strengths and what matters more. And, beloved it or not, practicing Yoga, more than any other wellness pursuit, has taught me about ‘doing my practice’ — that is, doing what I can and not worrying about what others can or cannot do. Going into a Yoga class is an experience in crushing of my ego. I’m like the ‘Aaflack duck’ if you’ve seen that commercial. I’m really really bad at Yoga and yet it is really good for my lungs and body which is exactly what I need to carry our my mission on this ball of rock called earth. So, I voluntarily check my ego at the door a few times a week in order that I might learn from someone far more advanced so that I may gain more vibrant health and well being to carry out my work and enjoy my family and friends farther into the future than I could ever do on my own. And, yet, when I’m in class I all alone. In essence, I am practicing Yoga alone together with the class.
The principle of teaming up is ancient. It is referenced by a King named Solomon which says that ‘If a man prevails against one who is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.’ Ecclesiastes 4:12 (WEB)
Out here in Yellowstone I’m learning a lot. I’ve almost always know that wolves are pack animals. But, I learned even more yesterday about the complexities of pack life and that, indeed, to thrive out here in the sorts of winter weather that they have you better have a pack. Truth is that we all need a ‘pack’ or a ‘tribe’ or a ‘family’ or ‘team’ or ‘church’ — a group to do life with so that we can prevail even when tough times come.
I know as a younger leader that I tried to do most things alone, but over the years I have not only accepted the help of other, but I have enjoyed, marveled and our efforts have been multiplied in positive impact. in that help. And, the reality is that the most important contributions I have made have been by serving alongside a team. Yes, I have alpha leader traits that could push me out into ‘lone wolf’ territory, but lone wolves don’t last long. I’m choosing more and more often to tap into the power of the pack to bring great things to life that make the world a better place.
I hope you’ll consider the power of teaming up and accepting help from others on your quest to change the world. You can go farther with a team than you ever could alone.
Yes, I know that for a while you could be way out in front — all alone. And, as long as everything remains perfect on your path that will be glorious, but when real life comes knocking you’re gonna wish you had a team to get your back.
Here's to you leading better than you ever have before.
ALL THE BEST!
p.s. If I can ever serve you in any way please just reach out and let me know.
p.p.s. Here are a few ways that we may be able to team up for greater long term success: https://www.jefffuson.com/lead-better.html
I help people win at what matters most in life, in love and in business.