Category: Kim


Posted on /by Kim Goodhart/in Kim, Video Marketing

How To Get A Perfect Testimonial

Everybody loves a great testimonial. There’s nothing quite like social proof to validate what you offer but how do you get one?

You’d think it would be relatively straightforward. 

The standard business advice is to just ask your customers for testimonials and referrals and perhaps offer them an incentive for their time. If you offer real value to your customers and you have raving fans that shouldn’t be too hard right?!

If you’ve ever been asked to give a testimonial for someone, you’ll know immediately why this isn't a good idea. 

It’s a horrible feeling wondering what to say to help someone market their product or service. Most of us want to help. We just don't know how. So, unless they’re a seasoned marketer they’re more likely to write something awkward and stilted that they think people want to hear rather than what they actually think. They deserve our gratitude, but this approach is unlikely to give you the right messaging and it’s a wasted opportunity because it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your customers are people. They love what you offer, and you’ve helped them solve some problem in their life. So, they’re more than likely happy to share their thoughts with you. Use that.

Arrange a time to have a relaxed conversation with them.

Let them know that you want to put  together some testimonials to market your product or service. Explain to them that you understand that it can be really hard to give a testimonial, so instead all you want to do is have a very relaxed chat with them about what you do and how it helped them. Let them know that you want to record the conversation, so that you can play back what they say and use some of the conversation to create a testimonial. Make sure that they know that you will run anything you use past them before you use it. 

If you can see them in person then do it in person. If you can’t then set up a meeting on Zoom.

Talk to them but more importantly listen to them.

If your product or service has helped someone with something in their life, then they’re going to be more than happy to chat to you about what that was. Ask them how they heard about you. Ask them about what challenges they were facing. Ask them about why they purchased from you. Ask them how your product or service helped them?

But more importantly listen to them. The more you actively listen to them the more they will talk to you. People like to feel heard. If you really listen and ask probing questions to go deeper, they will tell you everything you need to know. You’ll end up with far more than just testimonials. The conversation will become a gold mine of information that you can later use to make your product or service even better.

Transcribe the Interview.

After your chat, get your conversation transcribed and then listen to the conversation again. You’ll be amazed by the quality of the content that you have. They will have said things you could never have dreamed possible and would certainly never have written. Highlight all the useful pieces and then copy and paste them into a document. Structuring them in the order that you want. You can even reword things to make it flow more easily. Once you have everything that you want to use, send it to your customer and ask them for their feedback. If there is anything that they want to change then let them. 

And there you have it. The perfect written testimonial to market your product or service. 

So, go out there and start getting them. Testimonials from raving fans are an amazing way to sell what you do. If you don't already have them then you should.

Posted on /by Kim Goodhart/in Kim, Video Marketing

Why Video Storytelling is the Most Important Communication Skill to Master in 2020

It’s been argued that video storytelling is the most powerful tool in the art of persuasion.

And that by 2021 it’s set to become the most important method of business communication with video ultimately replacing email and texting.

If that’s true then it will no longer be, ‘a nice to have’ skill. It will be an essential tool in the art of communication and if you want to captivate, engage and influence your audience, be it your customers, your people, your executive team or your board then you need to master it.

So, is it just a passing fad or is there a real reason for why video storytelling is on such a powerful trajectory?

From the dawn of time humans have told stories, to not only keep each other entertained by the fireside but to unite the way that they think, feel and act.

Stories have bonded communities, educated people on the right values to live by and taught them how to survive.

Our brains are hardwired to not only pay attention to story but to retain the information within one.

But how?

Stories make us focus on what we’re being told.

Stories are structured, so that they grab our attention with a hook that speaks to us personally.

This hook often strikes at our inner most fears and anxieties.

Little Red Riding Hood ignored her mother’s warning and struck up a conversation with the wolf in the forest. Frodo in, 'The Lord of the Rings' is given a powerful treasure, the ring, to take on a long journey through dangerous lands. If he fails, their entire world will collapse and everything he holds dear will be destroyed forever.

We’re drawn into these stories because we’re first introduced to a main character that we like and then we’re shown the problem or challenges that they face. The moment we recognise the enormity of the challenge that they’re up against we’re hooked. People are fascinated by how other people will overcome adversity and so this powerful combination grabs our attention and forces us to focus on what we’re about to be told.

Stories make us feel empathy.

Once we connect with the main character in a story, it’s a bit like falling in love, whether you like it or not, if the story connects with you then you’re now invested in the outcome. You’re behind them every step of the way. That means that when they’re happy you’re happy. When they’re scared your scared. You don’t just sympathise with them. It’s real. You feel it. Stories trigger the release of dopamine, oxytocin, cortisol and serotonin, making you fully empathise with the person you’re following.

Whether you like it or not – in a good story you’re in for the ride and you can't get off. They sweep you up on a journey of emotion through tears and laughter, sadness and joy, ultimately influencing the way you think, feel and act.

Stories make us act.

We’re not just passive listeners when we hear a story. We’re actively involved. Who has jumped when they got a fright watching a horror movie? Whose foot has twitched when they’re watching a sports game?

That’s not random. Stories activate neuro-coupling and mirroring. When you watch or listen to a good story you experience similar brain activity to the main character - meaning that you experience the story as your own, it actually motivates you to act.

Which means that a well-told story not only grabs our attention and takes us on a journey it actually influences the way we act. Which after all is what all good communication is about. We communicate with others in order to get them to see things our way and act on what we think. Which puts storytelling at the heart of all great communication.

But that’s not all. We’re visual creatures and it’s not just story that we pay attention to.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)

Which makes VIDEO storytelling the most powerful tool in the art of communication.

So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure that your message is heard and inspire others to act on what you say then you need to get ahead of the curve and master how to create your own video stories because video storytelling is the most important communication skill to master in 2020.

Posted on /by Kim Goodhart/in Kim, Video Marketing

The Number One Secret To Overcoming Objections

It’s so frustrating when you hear your clients say, ‘I don’t have the budget.’ ‘I don’t have the time.’ Or, ‘I just have too much on my plate right now.’

I know because I’ve been there.

You know exactly what challenges they’re facing. You can see all the work that they’re putting in. And you know you have the answer that will solve their problems.

But they just keep coming up with excuses.

People that are trying to sell an idea, product or service, more often than not focus on selling the desired outcome. In doing so, they actually lose their audience’s attention.

Why?

We like to think we spend our time dreaming about how we want our life to look and that if someone presented us with the exact plan to achieve it, we’d jump at the chance.

The truth is that we’re often more focused on the voice of our inner critic that has a rolling replay of our deepest insecurities to jump at the opportunity.

While the road to achieving the life of our dreams might be lying directly in front of us – our inner voice prevents us from seeing it because it's saying, ‘you’re not good enough.’ ‘You don’t have what it takes.’ Or, ‘you’ve got too much on your plate right now.’

And it's no different for your audience.

If you really want to help them overcome their objections, so that you can help them move forwards in their life, then you need to address their inner critic.

The fastest and easiest way to do that is to ask your favourite customers or the person with the most direct experience of your idea, product or service to share how they overcame the exact same fears and insecurities.

More than that – you want them to share what they would have missed out on had they not taken that step because this is a  more powerful motivator than selling the desired outcome.  

When your favourite customer shows real, tangible proof that they experienced the same fears and insecurities as your audience, that they too risked losing out on what they wanted but instead chose to take action and move forwards to achieve amazing results then you have the power to inspire your audience to act.

Now I know that this sounds manipulative and in one sense it is.

But you have an idea, product or service that’s actually going to benefit them. Something that will make their life better. Who doesn't like the idea of someone coming into our life and giving us that little nudge that we need that will inspire us to eat more healthily, do more exercise and step up in their careers, so that we can earn more money and have more time and freedom to live our life the way we want?

If you want it, then so do they? 🙂

So, the most important thing you can do for them and you is to create video stories of your favourite customers sharing what fears held them back, what they would potentially lose out on had they not taken the next step and the positive impact that this has had on their life. 

This is the number one secret to helping your customers overcome their objections and getting them on the path to achieving their desired outcome.

Posted on /by Kim Goodhart/in Kim, Video Marketing

Three Reasons Not To Hire A Videographer

It’s a great feeling when a client says something like, “Wow, wow, wow!!! Amazing. Jeepers Guys, just loving the work here.” It’s like a rush of happiness sweeps through your body and it makes everything feel worthwhile.

 It would be nice if you could bottle up that emotion and share it with everyone.

 It would be even nicer if you could share it with potential clients to show them just how amazing you are.

 Wishful thinking aside, the secret to scaling your business is to create success story videos of your favourite clients talking from the heart, about how they truly think and feel about how you solved their problems and transformed their lives.

These video stories should be the power source behind every sales campaign you start as they provide unequivocal, social proof that what you do works.

However, every day we meet people who wish that other people knew how amazing they were.

They know they achieve amazing results.

They’re just waiting until they have the budget to be able to hire a videographer to bring their success stories to life.

If this is you, then listen to me, because you’re missing a massive opportunity – you don’t need to hire a videographer – you can do it yourself.

In fact, let me tell you a secret.

You may actually be the best person to create your video stories.

Why?

Many videographers are far more into their cameras and lights than the heart of your story.

Many of them don’t care about what you do. Many of them don’t know what you do. And many of them have no idea how you transform your customer’s life. But you, you know your customers. You care about them. You know what challenges they face. You know how you helped them. And you know how you transformed their life. You know their story, so you know what questions to ask.

The best interviews happen when the person in front of the camera feels completely relaxed but your videographer is a stranger to your customer.

Your favourite customer has never met your videographer. How will your videographer get them to open up in front of the camera? How will they encourage them to tell them what they really think and feel? It takes amazing skill to get a stranger to go deep and talk from the heart. But you’re not a stranger. They trust you and so, they’ll talk to you about it. This is what creates the magic of an amazing, success story video.

Your potential customers don't care about the quality of the video they care about the transformation you created.

Your potential customers aren’t grading you on the quality of your video. That would be like choosing you because you drive an Aston Martin – or put the other way not choosing you because you drive a Mazda. The camera on your smart phone is now so amazing that you have everything you need to create a good quality video. They’re not picking you because you created a video that could win a film award – they’re choosing you because you’re the best at what you do and what better way to prove that than showing them someone talking from the heart about how you transformed their life.

 So, if you want to bottle up that amazing feeling that you get when you hear someone talking about how amazing you are and how you transformed their life – then you need to forget about hiring a videographer and get out your phone and start filming your favourite customers talking from the heart about how you transformed their life. That’s the easiest and fastest route to building your business.

Posted on /by Irene Henson/in Kim, Video Marketing

The Number One Reason Why Marketing Videos are Critical to Scaling Your Business

I can vividly remember the first pitch I was invited to attend.

I knew what we had to offer was amazing. I knew that if they gave us the chance we could do amazing things for them. What I didn't know was how how to sell that idea to them because I had absolutely zero sales experience. 

As I was crossing the harbour bridge on my way to the meeting my anxiety kicked in. What was I doing? Who was I trying to kid? I couldn’t do this?

But I didn't want to turn around and go back. If I did that I would be giving up and I'd invested too much. 

So, I tried to focus on my breathing and calm the competing thoughts in my head.

When I arrived at the reception I was greeted by 3 lovely women and for a brief moment it looked like everything would be ok – but then I started to get the shakes. Now I don’t know if you’re anything like me but once I get the shakes I can't stop. I mean I literally can’t stand on my own two feet because they take over my whole body. I can't pick up a glass of water or I’ll spill it and so, I sat at the table trying to keep the weight off my feet in case it gave away how badly I was shaking. 

Amazingly the three women I met that day did hear me out but not surprisingly I didn’t complete the sale. 

It was not the only meeting I would ever have like that – but it was the worst!

Bit by bit, pitch by pitch I got better until I started to score some jobs. It was a very slow, uphill grind and each job required the same effort. 

However, the moment we started to get real results all that changed. We quickly learned that we could make testimonial videos or what I like to call success story videos of our clients.

Each video showcased the story of a client.

• What did they want to achieve?
• What was holding them back?
• Why did they decide to go with our approach?
• How had we transformed their life?

After we made the videos (you can watch them on the home page of our website) I was able to send out a cold email to potential customers and embed the relevant success story video in the email. 

When potential clients shared the values, I expressed in my email – they watched the video and then they asked to meet. It was the end of me ever having to sell what we did again. Because now, when I meet with a potential new client they already know what it is that we do. They already know what value it is that we offer AND we get straight to the part that I love most – which is what challenges are they facing and how can we help solve them.

From that day forwards I was able to take a step back and let my customers do all the selling for me. It was like a huge breath of fresh air. I felt the weight lift from me and suddenly everything in life was easier. 

So, if you want to make it easier to attract more clients or get buy-in from your audience then you need to utilise the power of authentic, video storytelling to create video stories about your successes. There’s nothing more powerful than someone talking from the heart on camera about what they truly think and feel about how you transformed their life. 

That's why marketing videos, particularly success story videos or testimonial videos are absolutely critical to scaling your business.

The Next Big Thing in Video Marketing
Posted on /by Irene Henson/in Kim, Video Marketing

The Next Big Thing in Video Marketing

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past 10 years then you know that the best way to sell your idea, product or service is through marketing videos.

But a quick venture into the world of video production companies might have left you feeling just a little bit frazzled because marketing videos are by no means cheap!

Well, don’t worry because I’m here to tell you that that’s no longer a problem. Why?

Because the next big thing in video marketing, is completely and utterly FREE!

So, what is it?

It’s video stories that you can make on your phone!

And no, I don’t mean videos like the ones that you might make of your kid’s birthday party or the work Christmas party. The point and shoot type.

And I don’t mean the fun gimmicky ones that the clever millennials know how to put together for TikTok or some other app.

I’m talking about authentic, video stories of your favourite customers, clients or people telling their story, in their words about how your ideas, product or service solved whatever problem it was that they were facing.

These video stories are quite simply, the most powerful tool in the art of persuasion.

So, if you want to stand out from the crowd and make sure that your ideas, products and services get noticed then you need to be sharing authentic, video stories with your audience.

Now, if you think that sounds complicated. It’s really not.

Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1:

Find someone that has direct experience of your idea, product or service that’s now a raving fan of whatever amazing thing you’ve created.

Step 2:

Get out your phone and film them while you ask them 4 questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What problems or challenges were you facing?
  • How did I/we solve them?
  • And what has been the outcome?

Step 3:

Film some video of them both struggling with the challenges that they were facing and reaping the benefits of your idea, product or service.

Step 4:

Download iMovie on an iPhone OR Adobe Premier Rush on your Android.

Follow the instructions to import your interview, cut out the bits you no longer want (like you asking the questions), add some pictures over the top, layer in a bit of music and then add a title to the front of your video.

Step 5:

Post it on social media, play it at your presentation or email it to your target audience.

It really is as simple as that.

Don’t worry about getting it perfect. This is not about creating slick, flashy, marketing content that costs thousands!

You don't need to spend that because the most powerful tool for your marketing strategy is not a flashy, marketing video. It’s an authentic, video story of someone talking from the heart about what they truly think and feel about what you do.

There’s nothing more powerful that that.

So, go out there and give it a go.

Posted on /by colin/in Article - Vision, Kim, Purpose, Strategy - Vision, Transformation

Why do you have to be true to yourself to lead?

Up-close-and-personal chats with New Zealand’s leading visionary CEOs

By Kim Goodhart

In the lead up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Nelson Mandela (the story goes) had to face down a room full of his peers, colleagues and followers – all of whom are in a meeting specifically to cull the Springbok emblem.

He was a lone voice, but he stood his ground. He had a vision for national unity and would not be swayed despite the cacophony around him. The Springbok emblem united the country in the 1995 Rugby World Cup and remains to this day.

In the first of a series of one-on-one close-up interviews that Real TV is doing with New Zealand’s leading CEOs, I talk to Southern Cross Health Society CEO Nick Astwick to find out about authentic Leadership. Nick makes the point that a good CEO or leader is true to him/herself.

Nelson Mandela remained resolute in the face of dissent that conflicted with his vision, but for many CEOs it isn’t much different.

Today’s CEO must manage the demands and expectations of customers, shareholders, board members and their people – all of whom are wildly different. Clearly, to succeed, a CEO must be confident that his or her vision is the right one and that confidence, I think, comes to CEOs who know themselves well enough to find the right organisation to lead – one that aligns with who they are.

The value of authenticity

Nick is clear that a CEO must be authentic. Don’t try and be someone you’re not for the role. You will only be successful in leadership if you are genuinely truthful to who you are. If you try to be somebody you’re not, then you will be caught out very quickly.

Nick says it wasn’t until he knew why he wanted to be a CEO, and what type of CEO he would be, that he found a fit with an organisation and a strategy that he could be true to himself. Only then did he become a CEO.

In fact, in the video <watch it here> he tells us how he failed to get the top job when he was trying to be something that his potential employers wanted, rather than who he was.

I believe it is the inner clarity that comes from knowing yourself and knowing what you believe that allows great leaders to make the seemingly impossible possible.

In the movie Invictus – which tells the South African version of events leading up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup – there’s a scene where black children rush with joy to play with white rugby players. One rugby player says to another, “Did you ever imagine this?” To which his team mate replies, “How could I?”

Most people will never see what can be possible until it happens.

And while it may seem extreme to suggest that our CEOs and leaders need the level of conviction that Nelson Mandela showed. I believe our best leaders have the same authentic passion for the vision they are leading. It is this that is driving the changes within their organisations and it is this that inspires their people, customers, shareholders and board members.

When all these people start to see the vision become a reality they too ask, “Did you ever imagine this?” Leaders that are true to themselves and have vision can make the seemingly impossible possible and that is why I believe we need them.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”

– Nelson Mandela

Photo by:  Quino Al

Posted on /by colin/in Article - Vision, Kim, Purpose, Strategy - Vision, Transformation

Sexual harassment in the workplace needs a tick, not a big stick

As momentum from the global #MeToo movement reaches New Zealand shores – signalled by recent allegations of a culture of sexual harassment in the legal sector – it may be time for this country to introduce the gender equality equivalent of the gay community’s Rainbow Tick.

Incentives always work very well, and a ‘gender equality tick’ programme may be a compelling incentive to drive the change in culture we need to achieve real behaviour change.

Rules and disciplinary processes are necessary to protect people, but as a tool for enduring cultural change within an organisation, they are unlikely to be enough. The drawback of the disciplinary process – while necessary – is that people are too afraid to speak up because they think of the social cost to themselves or they are afraid that it might destroy their careers.

Far more impactful than just punishing the bad behaviour would be a vision and celebration of mutual respect and equality within the workplace – something people can aspire towards, together with the tools and education to achieve it.

In my experience – in working with companies to achieve behaviour change through communication – where undesirable behaviour exists, it is often so ingrained in the culture that most people are oblivious to it or they have accepted it has the norm.

Time after time I’ve seen how it is rewards-based systems that achieve better transformation. The equivalent of a Rainbow Tick will be a greater motivation for change. The tick, combined with education – and a few simple measures that people can take to improve their company culture – could rapidly change the current situation.

A ‘gender equality tick’ system would help both prospective employees, and customers, make informed decisions about whether or not they want to do business with an organisation – itself a strong incentive to drive real transformation in the workplace.

Consumer choice drives business decision making. When the consumer has a choice between two equally good products or services, they may be more inclined to choose a company that is socially responsible. So, when all the information is out in the open, then companies are motivated to do the right thing.

Both men and women need to feel safe in the workplace. Processes and workplace regulations are important but change needs to happen because people want it to happen and they’re ready for it.

The Rainbow Tick (http://www.rainbowtick.co.nz/whats-rainbow-tick/) is a certification mark awarded to organisations that complete a Diversity and Inclusion certification process regarding whether or not workplaces understand, value and welcome sexual and gender diversity.

I believe the Rainbow Tick works because it allows organisations to celebrate their diversity and inclusion. It allows them to tell the public that they’ve got it right, and it delivers both education and achievable steps for organisations to follow so that they can get it right – it moves beyond blame to solving, which can only be good for everyone.

If an organisation has a vision and enrols its staff in that vision, change will follow. Enforcement in the workplace can only treat the symptoms, but culture change is far more valuable.

Posted on /by colin/in Article - Vision, Kim, Purpose, Strategy - Vision, Transformation

#MeToo – How culture control can help CEOs achieve gender equality

In horticulture there is a term called ‘culture control’ that involves using various techniques, like crop rotation, to change the environment into one that is undesirable for pests and diseases – it’s also a made-to-fit analogy for how an organisation can become a place that is undesirable for sexism and misogyny.

By putting in place a series of measures – like New Zealand’s pest quarantine system, using resistant plant varieties, ensuring soils are well drained and tools are kept clean – horticulturalists create an environment where plant diseases and pests find it difficult to get a footing.

Horticulture calls the practise ‘culture control’, but it’s an apt term to apply in the workplace too. By implementing ‘culture control measures’ in the workplace, we can create an environment in which it is difficult for sexism, misogyny and *‘himpathy’ (the tendency to sympathise with men accused of sexual harassment and assault) to take root.

By implementing a series of ‘culture control’ measures in an organisation, chief executive officers and senior management can help shift to a place where gender equality and diversity flourish – a place where each person is valued and rewarded for who they are and their contribution, rather than by gender or race.

Importantly, the CEO will be creating an environment that is not conducive to sexism and its darker counterpart, misogyny; thereby achieving lasting change.

What are some of the ‘culture control’ measures that organisation’s might consider?

  1. Workplace sexism prevention

A culture of sexism or even ‘himpathy’ encourages the growth of misogyny. Weed out sexism, and misogyny will struggle to take root.

Like workplace health and safety – or accident prevention – management could look to run an education programme about why gender equality is important for everybody and how to spot bad habits, sexist behaviour and language (including in the individual personally).

This can then be supported with real tools for eliminating sexist language and behaviour, even within ourselves, as well as processes for dealing with issues as they arise.

  1. Storytelling

To achieve real change, there needs to be an emotional shift.

Sharing video stories about women and some of their challenges, for example, will tap into people’s emotions and achieve meaningful change in attitudes and levels of empathy towards women e.g. put yourself in a woman’s shoes.

  1. Outlets

In horticulture, ventilation is an important aide in temperature control which, in turn, is used to discourage the growth of, for example, mould.

The equivalent action may be putting in sympathetic processes and structures for women who need support, as well as disciplinary processes to deal to sexual harassment and misogyny and also some way or forum for women to share (and therefore educate), on things that are not acceptable (this applies to all women, not just a handful from the HR team – it needs to be companywide).

Only be creating an environment that celebrates equality and diversity can we begin to realise the true potential of an organisation.

*Himpathy, a term coined by Cornell University Philosophy Professor Kate Manne to mean making excuses, sympathy, forgiveness and or exonerating sexist or misogynistic behaviour i.e. “it was a different era back then” is himpathy.

 

Posted on /by colin/in Article - Vision, Kim, Purpose, Strategy - Vision, Transformation

Team unity strips fear of its power

Part 3: Business lessons from Mount Cook

By Kim Goodhart

Little did I know (that’s me, the weakest link in our team) that the Mount Cook Range trail – a demanding 3 day alpine trek through the Ball Pass Crossing, would test us all, even the strongest in unexpected ways and only unity would pull us through.

After the glacier we had to climb up an exposed section of rock. Steve is incredibly strong and fit and leaves me for dust in every physical activity, but he hates extreme exposure and heights.

It is the only place where our roles get reversed. For a brief moment I’m able to be the person that supports him and it feels good. I’m not afraid of heights if I’m climbing because rightly or wrongly I feel that I am in control. I also knew that without a shadow of doubt that I could trust my team with the rope and that should I fall they would have me.

But that’s’ the funny thing about fear. It isn’t rational. What terrifies one person is simple to another. We all have our fears and they hold us back. Each and every person needs help – no matter how strong they are – when they encounter their fear.

Most people will do everything to avoid fear, but the really courageous go in there anyway. The best teams are the ones that know and understand each other’s fears and support each other through to the end. This is the beauty of a team over an individual. Strengths and fears blend together to make the team stronger.

But even though I know all this it was an eye opening experience for me to see the team move to reassure Steve and help him through the extreme heights. No one tried to urge him to go faster. No one was concerned. It was simply about making sure we all supported each other through every section. It’s a group effort and, when the team come together to support each other, they actually reach the goal faster and enjoy the journey.

Lessons from a slippery slope

On day 3 it was the loose rocks and scree slopes that got the other two team members.

Perhaps my naivety kept me from fear, but they knew all too well that we were surrounded by loose rocks. Any one of which could fall down the slopes at any moment and that we would have to move quickly if it did.

What I learned is that when a team is united with a common objective to reach a specific end goal, then everyone has to take into account the various team members and we have to help everyone get to the end.

To achieve this means listening to each other’s fears and anxieties, taking the time to understand them and give them what they need to get though. It takes knowing each other’s strengths and being able to rely on the stronger people – in that moment – to support you.

Looking back over the three days (see blog parts 1 and 2) I was happy on the exposed cliffs and crossing the glacial crevasses because I could trust my team. I knew that they would do whatever it took to keep each of us safe along the way. All  I had to do was play my role and keep putting one foot in front of the other to maintain the pace that our guide set.

And the result was that we achieved each section of the pass in record times. Our guide referred to our group as honed athletes. It is not something I’ve ever been described as but, thanks to the support of my amazing team, they brought me up to their level and this for me is what teams should be about.

What did I learn from the 3 day crossing?

* Choose your group carefully. You will only be as strong as the weakest link.

* Know your goal.  We all knew exactly what we’d set out to achieve and were committed to it.

* Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You need to be open enough to let each other in and rely on each other for support. Openness about your strengths and weaknesses builds trust – it is the power of vulnerability.

Do all that, and not only will you achieve what you set out to achieve, you will do it faster and more efficiently then you ever thought possible.