Time in the Fields

Time in the Fields

Last week on my mixed vacation and work in Israel, my family and I had the privilege to spend a few hours on a kibbutz (communal settlement) picking produce for the poor as part of a gleaning sponsored by our client, Leket Israel. Our family joined nearly 500 others, to pick kohlrabi, a vegetable similar to jicama, that would then be distributed to more than 190 food centers that distribute fresh produce and other foods to the poor in Israel.

So obviously this was a special opportunity to help those in need and also to spend time with our client. What I found as invigorating was the way our family —as well as others around us—managed to tackle the assignment. Most of the volunteers who joined us this day, it is fair to say, are far more comfortable sitting behind a desk, than we were picking crops in a field. What was fascinating was how adaptive people become when motivated.

Take our group. Naturally and without any planning, some members of our group teamed with different folks handling different assignments. One participant would pick the kohlrabi while another family member twisted a lower root off the plant and then peeled leaves off, before placing it in a bucket. Some family members searched for larger plants to fill their buckets faster than smaller crops. Still others carried the heavy bushels to a central point where they would be loaded on trucks.

Hence, in a few hours we managed to glean about a dozen bushels of crops —working as a team in tandem. Individuals naturally coming together to find a way to work together for a common good. No one had to make assignments, no one had to give orders. It happened naturally.

The moral of this story is how do we translate that teamwork in the field to the way we work in the office. We are in a business of ego, energy and at times an individuality that may benefit us—but not always the clients we are sworn to serve. Teamwork —each member of our squad using their individual skills—which together, fill the bushels of media results and ROI for our clients. It is a powerful force in the fields and can be an even more powerful force in our agency hallways.