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Thought Leadership 22 May 2017

What we knew before the Great Wall is what we now know

Great teams transcend. They rise above personal struggles, they make the impossible seem within reach, and they teach us that the vision of the collective can take us further than we ever believed.

And the funny thing is, we knew all that even before our Pioneer Team set one foot on the Great Wall of China, because at Insights we see first-hand every day what the power of great teams does for our clients.  And when our Pioneers found themselves at the very beginning of a long trek, thousands of miles from their families, they formed, under pressure, into a rock-hard diamond of a team.

Walking the Great Wall of China isn’t a breeze; it’s unbelievably steep, shockingly hot (for the Scottish people in the team!), and mentally it’s just daunting to keep the belief that none of you will be the person that lets the others down.  But in some ways it’s not as hard as you think; it’s astoundingly, unforgettably beautiful, it’s a lifelong ambition nailed, and it’s made so much easier by a shared playlist everyone can sing (and dance) along to (yes, we danced a lot along the wall).

What it taught us is:

  • Nothing breaks a team with vision, heart, a bucket of sunscreen and a banging soundtrack
  • Leaders are at their strongest when they push the team on from the rear of the pack
  • Every single one of us can do more than we believe, if only we can find an outlet for our passion and a big enough challenge

But honestly, for all its life-changing, jaw-dropping moments, walking the Great Wall really wasn’t about us. It was about all the children in the world who are losing out on an education, a daily meal and the future they deserve, and it was about supporting Mary’s Meals, who work tirelessly from a shed in a remote part of Scotland to feed the world’s hungry children in a place of education.

We’re over-the-top ridiculously proud to be partnering with Mary’s Meals, and it’s not quite over yet. Although our Big Insights Challenge is over, there are still a lot of Wee Challenges going on to help us reach our goal of feeding 10,000 children for a year. If you want to know more about our corporate social responsibility plans, visit us here, or if you feel you can donate, we’d appreciate anything you can give.

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