“Individually, we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.” -Ryunosuke Satoro

When Spartans were attacked in battle, they formed a tight group, using their shields to protect themselves and their fellow warriors.  This was called the Phalanx Formation. If one Spartan broke formation and tried to flee, his comrades lost the protection of  his shield and would likely be killed. Spartan soldiers depended on each other completely, entrusting each other’s lives in their fellow soldiers’ hands in each battle they fought.  A Spartan standing alone on a battle field may not have been much of an opponent, but a group of Spartans in tight formation was a formidable foe.

To work in a group, people must learn to trust each other. To be effective together, each member must know how the others will think and will act, especially during times of stress. Spartan warriors lived together, ate together, trained together and fought together. Their entire lives were spent together, to the point that Spartan soldiers were as close as brothers.

In our modern world, it may seem impossible to know another person to the same degree that classical Spartans came to know their fellow soldiers.  We rarely have the opportunity to really get to know the people we work with and depend on.

With time so short in our society,  how can you get to know the people around you? How can you learn to be part of an army that works and functions together, instead of just a soldier standing alone?

Getting out of the office, away from emails and pressing deadlines affords people a perfect opportunity to actually learn about their coworkers.

Competing in a Spartan Race together is a great opportunity to discover your coworkers’ hidden talents.  Crawling through the mud break downs the barriers coworkers feel between each other in the office.  Aspects of people that would usually never be seen come right up to the surface.

Learning new things about your coworkers can be really enlightening when you’re back at the office. Someone you never thought was brave before may show a lot of courage under pressure by crawling under barbed wire and hurling themselves over obstacles. Next time there’s a big presentation, you will know the perfect person who can be confident on a stressful day. Under stress we learn how other people really think and act. It’s much easier to work with other people when you know what they’re made of.

If a group of people can run a Spartan race together, I guarantee you that they will be able to run the rat race together, no sweat.

In short, work together. Strength in unity is universal.

You see how that works next time you’re at a Spartan Race. See you at the finish line…

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