Navy SEALS are the ultimate team.
Through precision teamwork, they accomplish almost impossible feats, like safely hunting down Osama bin Laden at night in a foreign country. While each SEAL is a formidable fighting machine, it’s the team that does amazing things.
Working in the insurance industry isn’t hazardous to life and limb, but it’s also a team endeavor. Success requires well-honed teams of underwriters, actuaries, agents, marketers, IT experts and others.
No one succeeds without good teammates. This is something we’re taught during team-building activities and something I was reminded of recently.
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After attending a Blue Cross Blue Shield conference in San Diego, 32 of us attended a Navy SEAL boot camp on Coronado Island. This “light” boot camp was a great experience, giving us a small insight into what our servicemen and women go through during initiation —and the importance of teamwork in the military and business.
We were paired into two teams of 16. Teams were then broken up into four boat crews of people of similar heights.
There was the usual physical training (PT), during which we were told we were too hot (cool off and get into ocean) and then too clean (roll in the sand), and then too dirty (get back into the ocean). There were team obstacle races, memory games, log drills, runs, cold ocean work and more—all starting at 5:30 a.m.
So why wasn’t I in my comfortable hotel bed at that early hour? Because it was fun; and once I started, I didn’t want to let my team or myself down.
Finishing the boot camp was something I couldn’t have done on my own, but having teammates didn’t give me an automatic pass. I still had to learn to work with those teammates in the same way mountain climbers must work with theirs and you must work with yours.