During a conference, Marcus Buckingham asked us to think about a great team we had been part of. His question was simple, "what made it so great? I was in a great team while part of an outdoor leadership training centre. What made it great is that we grew 'tough' together. Nestled into the everyday curriculum Stanford Lake College allowed us to deliver an integrated and outdoor grit-education programme to our pupils.
As the "outdoor-team" we unanimously pulled together towards collective goals. Highly qualified, with excellent hard skills and deliberate soft ones, we honed pupils in leadership - of self and others, outdoor ability, perseverance, grit and camaraderie. We "the team" shared the remarkable expeditions and shouldered the incredible responsibility of caring for and enriching the lives of other people's children in the barest wildernesses of South Africa.
We walked the talk, taking the journeys: rough nights, long days, wild rivers, dry savannahs and epic mountains which forged us together in lifelong philio-friendships. This team got "tougher" in body, mind and spirit, as we pursued the wildernesses experiences. Tough teams are not grown from a few hours of staff-development, but from perseverance and grit forged from common goals and purpose in demanding environments.
"Expeditions can greatly contribute towards building the strength of character. Joseph Conrad in Lord Jim tells us that it is necessary for a youth to experience events which 'reveal the inner worth of the man; the edge of his temper; the fibre of his stuff; the quality of his resistance; the secret truth of his pretences, not only to himself but others." Kurt Hahn