In 1863 two ships wrecked on the same Auckland island nearly 300 miles south of New Zealand.
Neither ship knew about each other and never discovered each other even though they were only 18 miles apart.
One crew of 5.
One crew of 25.
The crew of 25 kept an ‘every man for himself’ attitude. The captain even demanded they maintain their onboard ranks. Even when they dwindled down to only 3 members (the Captain, the First Mate, and a crew member), the Captain was still requiring the crew member to do all of the work required to survive; hunting, foraging, and gathering of wood. He even made the crew member stay in a separate, smaller shelter.
The crew of 5 became an all-in team.
They were performing any role needed to survive.
They took turns teaching each other in the evenings about any subject any of them had familiarity with, regardless of the rank or authority they once held on the ship.
The crew of 5 survived 20 months, sent 3 out by sea to find help, and successfully returned.
All 5 survived and were rescued.
The crew of 25 were only on the island for 3 months. In that time they went from 25 to only 3 members and were only rescued by sheer luck.
Leaders who are only interested in rank will drain their employees, and will lose them. They will either lose them to a different company or their employees will be lost within themselves. Instead of the eager, willing, helpful and hopeful employee they started as, they will lose trust in others, lose their positivity, and become defensive as they struggle to hang onto the last bit of security they think they have.
In an environment where there is no trust, there is no security.
How Can Teams Survive and Thrive?
Great teams are made up of people who help each other.
Having an all-in attitude, teammates you can trust, who share the work and the success.
The goal isn’t just to survive, the goal is to thrive.
Leaders who build teams that can trust each other, can depend on one another, and hold each other accountable will drive true success. They will be true leaders.
Throughout the history of shipwrecks, historians have documented, those who adopt a culture of kindness are the ones who fare the greatest. They develop a feeling of security with one another. They can count on one another, feed one another, and encourage one another.
Kindness maintains their hope.