It takes a Team to go the Distance

By Ganteng Boy

I am not sure where this quote originated, but the theme of this past week was:

 

you can go fast if you go by yourself

but if you want to go far, you need a team.

 

When I heard this phrase for the first time last year, it made sense. This quote builds on the principals outlined in Stephen Covey’s book: “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The process of maturing is described as dependence, independence, and finally interdependence.

Where does this principle apply to the different roles that I have in my life?

As a Friend

My best friend Christopherson has never run more than 8 miles in his life. That statement changed last weekend. It was his first time to ever run a half marathon – 13.1 miles.

Have I run a half marathon before? yes

Could I run a half marathon distance faster than Christopherson? yes

Would it have been as fun if I ran the race on my own? no

I’m still laughing at how many girls ran after Christopherson that day. It felt good to at least give the impression that I was his dedicated camera man.

 

Knowing that it was Christopherson’s first half-marathon ever, I remembered how it felt to run for my first half marathon – it was short of special. I completed it at a large park in Houston. It was hot and muggy, and there was no one in sight to cheer me on. I wanted to make sure that Christopherson’s half marathon moment was special. And so I asked the question:

If it was my first half marathon, how would I have wanted to remember it?

That day, I was Christopherson’s personal photographer. I took pictures where I thought it would be a funny moment, and videos of moments where I felt like it captured the essence of a long run. I felt that it was important to be a part of the history.

Could I have taken photos of myself running the half marathon? yes, but you would be that guy. No one likes that guy.

 

As a Sales Executive

As a sales executive in one of the largest software companies in the world, I depend on a network of resources to make the sale possible.

For starters, it would be nearly impossible for me to be an expert in every software product and every industry vertical that uses my company’s software.

Secondly, my sales territory contains on the order of 500-700 small to medium businesses – some of them are customers and most of them are prospective customers. To be able to communicate with all 700 of my accounts, I rely on my business development counterpart to help prospect into new accounts. I chose to focus on current customers who are using a different technology product from my company today and might be interested in learning more about how our software applications can impact their bottom line in the future.

Should a prospective customer take interest in one of our products, we then depend on an implementation consultant to proceed forward with a flawless software installation, preliminary training and ensuring that the customer can fully utilize their investment.

This all takes a team to bring in the final sale.

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My $ales Team

As a National Board President

My vision is to one day expand to UT Arlington. The university is a prime location and strategically located amongst our northern chapters in Texas.

My experience is that expansion is not simple. Your overarching strategy and roadmap will vary, depending on the maturity of your organization (5 years vs. 25 years). To that end, there will be a certain level of brand recognition – be it good or bad. It takes a team of seasoned alumnus to come up with a strategy that factors in action items that failed in the past and action items that might work in the future.

Not only is it important for your organization to have brand recognition and strategy, but you need a local ambassador to be the brand advocate at the ground level. The brand ambassador is the bridge between your vision and reality. In the early phases of expansion, some of the biggest hurdles may be finding a solid interest group. This is where the brand ambassador plays a key role in networking with local organizations and friends of friends.

All in all, I rely on my group of alumnus to formulate a plan and the local ambassadors to execute the strategy. The only way I can see myself doing this all on my own is to create at least 5 carbon copies of myself.

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Three Generations of Good Fraternity Brothers

 

I hope that you enjoyed reading my post. There is no ‘I’ in team. No matter the size of the team – 2 man team or 20 man team, it takes a team to go the distance.

How does this principle apply in your life?

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