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Wellbeing Insights

The Jigsaw

March 2024
— Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Some of us are ground crew – holding lines, building fires, dreaming dreams, letting go, watching the upward flight. Others of us are bound for the sky and the far edges of things.” Robert Fulghum

Thinking about this quote from Robert Fulghum, it became apparent that both sets of people are vital to the wellbeing of a society. There are those who are foremostly practical; they see a job to be done and they leap in and do it, without fuss and without complaint. And there are those who do not necessarily notice or focus on what is immediately in front of them, or if they do, their minds are on other things, things which stretch the boundaries of what we know, that project far into the unknown.

Without the first group, it is apparent that life would be chaotic, haphazard at best. Note too, in Fulghum’s observation, that while this crew may be earth-bound, they have dreams too. They know when to release them, to allow the forces at play to take part in their realisation.

The second group are foremostly visionaries, who ensure others’ earth-boundedness does not becoming too limiting. Practicality, logic, rationality are essential elements of a functioning society, but they are not necessarily the elements that have all of us spring out of bed in the morning! This group dreams, pushes the limits of the known and asks, ‘Why not?’

Within teams, both groups are necessary. For an idea to be envisaged, we need the sky bound. For it to be put into place we need the ground crew. Knowing the strengths of the team enables each of the team to draw upon what is needed in a decision-making moment. Is it an aspirational future project? Is it a closely worked detailed program that needs to be put into place?

Businesses who build their teams according to the strengths of their staff, who allocate roles and projects, accordingly, are likely to not only successfully achieve their objectives, but to offer each team member an opportunity to flourish, undertaking the kind of work which lights them up.

For individuals within the team, confidence to know they can safely ask others with complementary skills to contribute – that in fact to not ask and include is to be profligate with human resources – is essential. There is no need to feel self-reliance is the gold standard; collegiality and shared tasking is valuable and offers everyone a way to benefit from the team’s collective strengths. Together we create the human jigsaw.

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