I have to admit that this project is the most challenging project that I have developed until now in Toastmasters.
It took me almost two months to research and develop this project so that I can stand here in front of you and deliver this speech.
I have no experience with team building throughout my life — I have no clue at all.
Through my research, I’ve found a lot of contradicting events.
Not The Best Team Partner…
Therefore, everything I did throughout my life was individual skills or individual results or even when I was playing sports.
Back in my country, I was playing football and basketball, which demands a lot of teamwork and team effort for years.
Usually, I had great results and successes when I was playing one-on-one or two-to-two.
However, when I had to play by five-by-five or ten-to-ten, I always flopped.
The reason is that everybody would have to follow instructions or a specific rotation that each coach teaches.
Then, I would do something totally different out of my mind, and everybody would get confused, not knowing what to do.
Thus, that lead me to sports that are more individual and focus more on personal skills.
That way, I didn’t need to work a lot with teams and cooperate with different people.
How Entrepreneurs Fit In Team Situations
As I developed my skills, started learning new things, developing my business, and doing things that would improve myself…
…I began understanding that in the entrepreneurial world, there’s not a lot of team building, if not at all.
When we’re talking about Entrepreneurs in small businesses or Entrepreneurial businesses.
Team building usually happens when we’re talking about big corporates.
1,000 employees or situations that we’re sitting on one corner of the floor in the office and the other offices are in the other corner of the story.
And you don’t even know who you are talking with or talking to.
This is the part when team building comes to play that it has to bridge that gap between people so that you’ll get to know each other.
However, in every job I did in my life, I didn’t work in any corporation until now, and I don’t like to do it.
It was all based on personal skills, personal attempts, and struggles.
Also, when I was working together with other people, what I did is I would work with selected people.
A Different Definition For “Team Building”
I think this is the secret behind team building — how you define it.
It’s a different thing when we’re talking about big corporations, and it’s a different thing when we’re talking about smaller size businesses.
Thus, in my case, all the people whom I worked together with, were people strictly defined.
People with similar ideas, mindsets, goals, and aspirations with me.
It doesn’t make sense try working with other people coming 180 degrees oppositely, or with someone who you don’t want even to see their face.
It doesn’t matter if you are doing team building, or anything else, with your colleagues if you don’t want or like to work with them.
Some of you might say that this is kind of a very narrowed down point of view, that blocks me from seeing the full 360-degree picture.
However, in my experience, because I do not have a lot of patience, I cannot deal and waste time with people who spend my time.
Thus, I distort reality around my vision so that I can do what I want to achieve in my life.
And I don’t care what is happening around me or the opinions of someone else.
This is what brought me up until here.
This is a kind of introduction to explain to you why team building was challenging for me to research and understand this project.
Team Building Experiences Through Toastmasters
Then, when I did my research online, what happened is that I found 50/50 contradictory information.
50% of my study mentioned that team building has no results, that it’s a waste of money and time.
And the rest of the 50% of the other researchers said that it has excellent results and we should do it.
Therefore, it’s your opinion on what you will choose to believe.
However, I had this experience with a project.
About five months ago if my memory doesn’t get me wrong, I was talking with Toastmaster Ohana.
I was doing her mentoring project, and she mentioned to me,
“How can we do something more interesting in Toastmasters? How can we improve it and bring it into a higher level and do something out-of-the-box?”
Then, she mentioned about TED-style speeches.
I was okay with that, and a light bulb “lighted” in my brain.
Then, I was like, “Let me think about it. Let me see how we can incorporate that in the Toastmasters platform.”
I went back, I did some research, and then I gathered with the other club officers, and we discussed how we can introduce some new ideas.
As far as I remember, they were all very supportive and very in favor of creating and introducing something new.
What happened is that we had similar roles and similar vision, not precisely the same, but we did wrapping our ideas up and finding how we can fit the pieces of the puzzle together.
The next step was we had some short meetings on and off, 20 minutes after the Toastmasters’ meetings or 20 minutes earlier, and a couple of meetings outside the club.
We developed a plan of who is going to do this and that.
What part of each activity will be connected with the promotions, who will do the banners, who will inform the people, who will do the timekeeping and the rest.
Then, October came, and the first event was live — the STCx Event.
I think most of the regular members were here at that time and the first event, in my opinion, was okay.
It’s not that superb because it was the first event, but it was not that bad — it was fine.
We kept refining, we kept promoting and finding how to make it better because we had a shared vision, goals, and ideas together.
December came, and we did the third event, and I think it was super successful because about sixty (60) people filled the room.
I hadn’t seen so many people like that until that day.
I learned a lot of things from the speakers in all of the events.
I was very grateful for the research and time that they had made.
The “Team Building” Debate Is Yours To Choose
Now why I am telling you this is because my message — what I want you to understand — is that team building is like a “sticker.”
Depends on how you see it and how you define it.
Depends on the purpose that you want to give to that “sticker.”
If you are a corporate you might need it, if you’re an entrepreneur, you might not need it at all.
What I got out of this experience was that I learned how to develop projects with people who we have shared ideas and vision, and experimented with creating a different kind of projects that draws information, skills, and experiences from Toastmasters.
Because of this, I want to thank all the people who believed in me and helped me develop that project.