I love the scene in any classic tale when the hero receives the dramatic call to action and is told by the wise mentor, “assemble your team.” At that point, the motivation that the hero feels coalesces with the vision that he or she has carte blanche on his or her destiny. They can select anyone and summon that person from anywhere to join them in the quest for the prize and fulfill their mission. In many cases, what we fail to recognize is that the hero is also part of the team. He or she brings their own strengths and skills to the table. They are the techno-guru, the shovel-wielder, the visionary, or the cheerleader. Regardless, the task of assembling a team is an awesome emboldening moment. The hero’s mind’s eye scans the world for the best and the brightest. The calls are issued, doubts expressed, reminders of glory persuade and then they all join together for the walk down the tarmac in that slow-motion walk of resolve and determination.
Few of us ever receive that call to retrieve the Holy Grail or halt the nuclear warhead before it destroys the world. However, we are all faced with a call to action sooner or later. Some of those calls paralyze us and cause us to shrink away and isolate rather than rise to the occasion and rally the troops. And yet, those who find a way to surround themselves with excellence and a band of comrades bent on conquering tend to drink the sweetest nectar of satisfaction from the journey.
So…“How do I adjust?”
I can’t adjust alone.
I need to assemble my team.
And I need to be on that team.
Adjusting to a new culture is difficult. Whether you are adjusting to a new job, a new location, a new country, a new civil status, a new family, a new church…any new environment, it requires courage and determination. It is not helpful to say, “Oh it is a piece of cake, you just have to deal with it.” Anyone who has “dealt with it” successfully has assembled a team.
Different from a sports team or a work team, the team one needs to assemble for personal development and success is hand picked. You are not thrown into a group with whom you need to play well. I am talking about choosing the best person to help you get back up when you’ve fallen down. Find the best person who will remind you of past successes. Look for the best person with whom you can practice that language in which you need to maintain fluency. Call out the best person that is frank and honest with you and won’t just tell you that you look fine before you go out in public. Lean on the best person who will listen to you and not try to fix you. Make a new friend and add them to the team in this new business culture; this new landscape of divorce; this new country where you don’t know a soul. Walk up to them and propose a membership in what will become the raving ensemble of accomplishment of your life in this new place.
You choose the list of associates. You make the requirements. You draw up the boundaries and you set your parameters for knowing when things are going well. Surround yourself with brilliance – people that fill you and excite you. This is not a crowd of people whom you feel obligated to please or inclined to endure. These are your people. This team will see you through this transition of adjusting.
The world we live in nowadays makes harsh demands of us. We are called on assignments that pull us out of our comfort zones. We find ourselves accepting job offers on the other side of the globe. We take positions abroad because we can move. People do it all the time, right? Many times the work assignments come in ways that are not comfortable. We feel forced or compelled to enter a new environment for economic reasons or because of a power structure that played itself out by altering the landscape. These changes are not always seen as adventures and bring with them a host of fears and insecurities. While a list could be made to deal with these very real specters, that list often seems to come together and is answered by conversations with your team. The team will not wait to celebrate with you when you have arrived, but is there for you all along.
Pick up that call.
Accept the challenge.
Plunge into the new environment and
Assemble your team!