Once upon a time, in a beautiful land far away, there was a perfect team.
Renowned across the land for their amazing output, each member was as wise as an owl, with rich experience in their field of expertise. Whenever the team finished a project, people came from far and wide to catch a glimpse of their creations, for they were known to create the most beautiful products anyone had ever seen. Their leader, who was proud of her team, had no problem keeping them together – they worked harmoniously with no quibbles and only respectful, productive debates. All was flowing smoothly in the land when one day, a dark cloud appeared.
That day, riding in from the distance, came the Witch of Renewal. Terrifying to behold – for no one knew what mischief she would bring – the Witch raised her gnarled arm over the town and boomed out the dreaded words that would alter everything instantly.
“I BRING CHANGE!”
All shuddered in their beds. And when the team arose, they were in for a shock. Suddenly, things were inexplicably different. For when the team got together, nothing would go as it had. The day before, our heroes had worked easily together; now it was a struggle. Tasks that had gone smoothly yesterday were now an uphill battle. Everything was unfamiliar – their tools transformed, their goals strange and foreign. Try as they might, their legendary knowledge and wisdom – even their vast experience – wasn’t enough to make things work. Some team members remained, soldiering on. Others left, fraught with despair.
Their leader felt lost, stuck, at her wit’s end. Unsure where to turn, she sought counsel from the village oracle. “Oh learned one,” she began, wringing her hands, “I once had the perfect team, but all has changed. Whatever shall I do?”
Kneeling forward, the oracle gave his advice. “You and your team must go forth on a quest, for you must travel the road of connection together.” The team leader listened with bated breath, ready to hear their mission. “On your journey, you will share tales of your personal experiences. As each recounts their tales – the others must listen with full attention.” Shocked, our team leader began, “But…?” The oracle held up a finger to silence her. “Whenever someone on your team feels heard, a new part of the road will be revealed to you. You will know where to go next. At the end, you will reach the Mountain of Conflict, the ultimate test of your team’s strength and unity. If your team can give each other feedback, and receive it in turn without falling into unhealthy conflict, your answer will be revealed.”
Terrified but desperate for a solution, the leader agreed to venture forth. She vowed to return and tell the oracle whatever solution the Mountain revealed. As she turned to leave, the oracle bestowed one last gift on her. “As a reward for the vulnerability you’ve shown in asking for my help, I give you magic force for on the road. Should you encounter the dragon, these compliments will come to your aid. Unleash them on the dragon, for they are the only thing that will tame it and save your team.”
That night, the leader and her team disappeared on their journey together. They were neither seen nor heard of for several days. But when it seemed like all might be lost, the team returned. They rushed straight to the oracle.
“Oracle, you saved us, because all was indeed revealed.”
“And what did you learn?” smiled the oracle. “We found no magic herb, no miracle tonic, no enchanted wand – and we were shocked. The solution was revealed not on that Mountain, but on the journey itself. As we shared and listened, we discovered our clear purpose. We found our shared vision for the road ahead – together. As we gave feedback, strong bonds formed between us – we connected. We finally saw eye-to-eye about where we want to go, and our path forward was revealed.”
The oracle nodded sagely, listening.
“We learned that we have the skills and wisdom within us – and that sometimes, we must recombine those powers to deal with change that comes our way. When conflict arose in the form of a dragon,” she continued, “We unleashed the full power of our compliments to best him, together. Best of all,” finished the leader, “We now know how to deal with any change the Witch may bring – no matter what it looks like.”
The team rejoiced that night amid great celebrations in the village because they had learned a lesson for the ages. They lived long and produced much more beautiful work, drawing on their learnings whenever the Witch returned. They lived happily ever after, but so has their “secret”. Because in this day and age, the Witch returns ever more frequently to test teams and their leaders, even those with ideal teams.