It's hard to put in to words the experience that I had with Project Athena. So I'm going to let someone else do the writing for me. I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale a solitary individual, but I came home as part of a forever team and it was Robyn and Project Athena who taught me that I am NEVER alone. I've since applied her 8 essential elements of Human Synergy to EVERY aspect of my life. From my "team Hodges" philosophy that I use with my husband and kids, to the "blogger team" that has empowered me and given me so much confidence, to my "fitness team", the people that I work out with who push me, inspire me, and encourage me. Many of these people don't even realize that they are part of MY team, but they are.
All the information below comes directly from Robyn Benincasa, founder of Project Athena and author of How Winning Works.
The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy
T Total Commitment
Does your team have the 4 P’s of Commitment: Planning, sense of Purpose, Preparation and Perseverance?
E Empathy and Awareness of Teammates
Do you and your teammates care for one another as much as you care about yourself? You must be able to put yourself in one another's shoes often, and give one another what you need on both a physical and emotional level in order to keep going. Treat one another the way that you would want to be treated.
A Adversity Management
How does your team deal with a race that’s not going so smoothly? You must remember that Adventure Races are generally a long series of problems to solve, and not the straightforward race you were hoping for. The right attitude is key. Does your team see roadblocks or challenges? A good team member must also have the skills to lead through adversity. Creating a vision and gathering input from the team is always a great way to go. Relax. This problem, or others like it, will happen to many other teams along the way.
M Mutual Respect
It’s important that there be a level of trust, respect, and loyalty on a successful team. Find things to love about your teammates while minimizing the things that bug you. Remember the great skills and attitude that each teammate bring to the table, and try not to gossip and divide the team.
W “We” versus “I” thinking
“We” thinking is about bringing everyone across the finish line with you, and not just being a standout player on your own. Are you constantly thinking about how to utilize your collective resources for the most successful outcome? If you are the strong link, do you just happily enjoy yourself at the front of the pack, or are you realizing that feeling good means you should be carrying more weight for someone who is struggling?
O Ownership of the Project
Choosing the right teammates that can wrap themselves around the goals of the team, heart and soul, are key.
Gaining consensus from the team on expectations and goals is vital and should be done before the race starts!
R Relinquishment of Ego
Your ego is the heaviest thing in your backpack! Choose teammates that willingly accept help, ask to help, and ask for help. You will be the strongest link on the team and the weakest link of the team at one point or another. Get over it and don’t let your ego get between you and the finish line!
K Kinetic Leadership
A great team allows different leaders to emerge, based on their particular strengths. Don’t confuse captainship with leadership. A captain is just the person that ensures that their team has all of the tools that they need to be successful. A leader comes forward when their strength and experience is the most use to the team. On the best teams, the leadership revolves constantly. Military style leadership doesn’t work to well in Adventure Racing!
What does that spell?? TEAM WORK!!
*Be the teammate you would want to race with
*Be congnizant of the fact that, due to the intensity of the emotions generated in this sport, the way that you treat people, (especially during their lowest moments) will always be remembered
*In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make (for you Beatles fans)
*Try to “coach” versus criticize. Extending a hand is always more impactful than pointing a finger
*Remember your priorities–our team’s priorities, in order, are to: stay safe, stay friends, and go like hell
*Check your ego at the start line
Is she great or what?? Just replace the adventure racing/sport talk and replace it with whatever else you are struggling with in your life and you'll see how you can use the 8 essential elements of human synergy to live your most authentic life! I've become a better wife, a better mother, daughter, sister, friend following these 8 steps and tips.
Try it. See how you do. I bet you change your life.
This is my Project Athena team. And they are amazing.