u + i

A conversation with Esther set me off thinking.

She remarked: ‘If not for Everest, we would not have known each other.”


And that started off when we were talking about the different clubbing crowd in both Zouk and St James, and that I would have been classified as the ‘unglam’ party, a group that would probably not mixed with her ‘cool’ party.


Well, it is kind of strange how people of different shapes and sizes and personalities got together because of one mountain.


Is it a mountain or the passion to make a dream come true that brought the six of us together?


Working in a team of such diverse backgrounds is not easy, especially when all of us are equally self opinionated and hold very strong opinions of certain issues. Heated discussions are getting more regular with each important decision to be made.


Over the years, I was able to experience the shifts in our team dynamics, following the Bruce Tuckman description of group development. Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing, how our group started off being civil to each other 4 years ago and now that we can express our dissatisfactions at each other, yet at the end of it, know that we can still count on each other to see the team through.


Still remembered when I made a mistake in the team, and after receiving all the chiding from my team mates, Joanne ended her scolding with a sms: “We still love you.” And Lihui was gracious enough to forgive for my blunder. Their gestures truly warmed my heart.


From Storming Stage, we moved on to our Norming Stage where we set ground rules on communications and expression of views amongst others. It is kind of interesting that my team gave me the feedback that I should not stop trying to convince them until all of them understand what I am trying to say. A tall order for someone who is quite taciturn in nature but I guess that if good quality decisions have to be made, a certain level of good quality conversations would have to take place.


What does it mean to be part of this high performing team? Is it just to come together, raise enough funds, climb the mountain and call it quits?


I think what held us together is more than just a mountain, more than the passion to make our individuals’ dream come true, but rather the quiet acknowledgment that a team has the power to move and change things. Our unity brought the best and worst out of us as we stay in close quarters under extreme conditions in the mountains and at sea level, the constant balance between work, training and fund raising.


Margaret Meade said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Indeed, that is what our team believed and till date, we have engaged the youth through our school talks and sharing our journey, in the hope that they would climb their own Everest.

The power to change the world comes from the power within.

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