We all tend to have goals that we want to achieve in life. Often we have a few of what we consider dream goals as well- something that sounds impossible or unlikely, but that we still want and hope to achieve. No goal is unreachable. You can achieve any goal, it’s a matter of how much you want it, how much you’re prepared to invest and, often, how well you can work as a team. Last year, when I few in a wingsuit human flight formation from the north face of the Eiger with my team Jump4Heroes, I achieved one of my dream goals. I want to share what I call the 3 C’s of my teamwork formula, that I used to ensure success in achieving goals of all shapes and sizes, from organizing the garage to leaping from a 10,000 feet high mountain ledge.
It all came down to teamwork. The video, above, is a behind the scenes film that showcases the highs and lows that we went through. The interviews, with both myself and the other team members, highlight a number of the problems and issues that we faced and how we overcame them. Our goal could not have been achieved if we had worked as individuals. The only way we could possibly achieve such a feat was by working together. We required absolute unwavering trust, a topic I talk about in an earlier blog post. Our lives really did depend on it. We had to know each other inside out.
Achieving our mission wasn’t without its setbacks. The expedition did not go to plan. They rarely do. We had to adapt and overcome. The video tells this story. We had a helicopter malfunction, a mountain-side crash, cameras tumbling thousands of feet down the north face and a tree landing. We had to deal with this, as a team. We had to make strong and decisive judgement calls- decisions had to be made instantly and the consequences of getting it wrong were severe.
In my last blog post I talked about three of our successful components of our teamwork formula- unwavering trust, the veto and recognition of limitations. I want to expand further and consider the 3 C’s, harnessing the strength of teamwork:
- Courage. I’m not talking about being brave enough to do a bungee jump, leap out of a plane or fly a wingsuit from a mountain. I’m talking about having the courage and get-up-and-go to make something happen. You need to acknowledge your dream goal and have the strength of character to commit to it. You have to have the courage and decisive nature to be prepared to put other tasks to the side, to make sacrifices and to make this happen.
- Commitment. Many people shy away from commitment but it is imperative to a successful outcome and to achieving your goal. Once you’ve summoned up the courage to make this happen you must see it through with commitment. You need to make the achievement of your goal, particularly one that is seemingly unlikely or impossible, a priority and to commit to achieving it. Everyone on the team must buy into this commitment and commit to the same level- differing levels of commitment across the team can lead to disasters further down the line.
- Compromise. It’s unlikely that all team members will have exactly the same goal or the same level of commitment at the start. Compromise will be required. Successful teams assess this early on and agree on the commitment required. Normally this will require the most committed to compromise down. While the ideal would be for others to meet the higher standards the reality of achieving this, later on down the line, is problematic. To achieve seemingly impossible goals everyone must be 100% committed at a minimum level. Compromising up often leads to false promises and failing later on. If you are the one required to compromise down, it can be tough to do so. But, if you consider this against overall failure then it’s a small price to pay.
Take some time to consider your dream goals. Now apply the 3 C’s. Even if they’re individual goals, you might well need a team to help you complete them.
Question: What other techniques do you use to achieve seemingly impossible goals? Let me know in the comments below.