Day 258. Egos Aside

Want to know how powerful the spirit of collaboration can be?  Look no further than Boston, this past week.  Everyone co-operated.  Everyone was on the same page.collaboration  They worked as a team.

From the Governor to the Mayor.  From the local police to the FBI.  From the swat teams, to the military, to the bomb squads, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives.  From the emergency workers to the medical personnel to the fire fighters.  From the runners to the residents to the business owners.

I wasn’t there.  I have no training in such matters.  Or, thankfully, any experience.  But this I do know.  If they hadn’t put their egos aside, if they hadn’t put individual agendas or prejudices or beliefs or preferences aside, if they hadn’t collectively focussed on the end goal, if they hadn’t come together as one, it is doubtful we’d have the outcome we’ve got.

Bringing the suspects to justice was priority number one.  So was capturing them alive.  As was getting the job done without losing any more civilian life.  Without losing law enforcers’ lives.  Even if it meant taking their time.  Even if it meant having the press and members of the public down their throats, impatient for quick results.

This is going to sound strange considering the gravity of the situation.  But it was beautiful to watch.  Not the tragedy.  The teamwork.  The orchestration.  Everyone involved knew what their job was.  When it was their turn to perform.  Understanding each and every one had a critical role to play.  Appreciating each and every one had a critical role to play.  Knowing only one individual could be in charge.  Would be in charge.

No lone wolves.  No one going rogue.

Marshalling all that manpower, all that expertise, all that experience, all those different skills, all that equipment  had to be an undertaking of mammoth proportions.  But they made it look easy.  And seamless.  And the results speak for themselves.

They even spoke as one at the few press conferences they allowed.  There was one message.  One story.  No matter who was doing the talking.  No one spoke out of turn.

Unfortunately we don’t live in a world where we see this very often, any more.  We’re certainly not seeing it in Washington.  Or in Toronto, for that matter.  What’s good for the greater good isn’t on the agenda, it seems.  Instead of pulling together, we work against each other.  At cross purposes.  And accomplish nothing.  In fact, we make everything worse.

You don’t just witness this in politics or during disasters, terrorist attacks and other tragedies.  You see it closer to home, as well.  In our personal and professional lives.  I’ve worked in companies where dissension and resentment and jealousy and differences of opinion have gotten in the way.  Where management can’t agree.  Won’t agree, actually.  Where personal ambition takes priority over corporate vision.  Where pig-headedness makes productivity impossible.  Where, given the circumstances, success is impossible.

We saw co-operation at its best in Boston.  Let’s hope it’s a lesson the whole world takes to heart.

10 thoughts on “Day 258. Egos Aside

  1. Co-operation is key. This was the first thing I remember learning on Sesame Street at the age of 3. It will always be the key.

    Really positive outcome for the world, despite the tragedy that occurred. Perhaps this is the dawn of a new era where we all will start working together to put an end to this individualistic mentality that has come about.

    Humans are a collective species, we work better, together. The Internet has opened up channels for us to come together, like you and I are now. I am in Australia and you are in … Canada?? This a such a good thing that’s happening.

    Thanks for the inspiring post.


    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are absolutely right. We can only benefit from the sharing of knowledge and experience. Collective wisdom is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. And technology makes it possible for people to contribute from virtually every corner of the world. Imagine what we could accomplish if we took full advantage of it. And yes, how fabulous is it, that you and I can communicate this way, so easily, so seamlessly from opposite ends of the earth.

      • Well we are taking advantage of it, I just hope the people sitting at the helm could as well. They ought to look & learn to follow the people’s lead on how this world has changed. Egos aside (as in your aptly titled post), we can all accomplish greatness.

  2. There’s a photo of a man in a red tshirt huddled over a woman who was hurt in the blast. I saw it on facebook with a nonsense tag line about how he had planned to propose to her after she crossed the finish line, and that she had died in the blast. In truth, he was a man who had stopped to console and help her – even though he’d never met her. Instead of running away from the blood splattered pavement and the possibility of further explosions, he stopped to comfort an injured stranger. I found that a million times more moving than the fake story someone tagged to it – for no apparent reason. Then there was the Costa Rican man running along another who had lost his legs in the blast, holding an artery shut with his hands. He travels the US talking about peace, after (I believe) his son died on a tour of duty.
    These individual stories add up to a whole, and whilst the bombings were utterly mindless and tragic – it has brought out an amazing side in people, which I think we often forget is there.

  3. I’m a native of Massachusetts and I can tell you this much – Yankees may have their ordinary differences, but Bostonians will automatically put them all aside in a split second, and band together as ONE. Deep determination, One mind.

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