Wednesday, May 22nd, began just like every other day. I woke up at 5 am and began my usual morning routine when suddenly an urgent email came in, and to make a long story short, by 6 pm that evening I was on a flight to Morocco by way of London. I was being brought in on a large awards/fashion/music event in Marrakech, Morocco. And let me just say, it was awesome!
The whole event was a huge success and the challenge I was presented with was one I’ll never forget. Working with such a distinct and diverse people group presents all sorts of opportunities for growth and being the observant communicator I am, I wanted to present a few key takeaways from my experience with you all.
So here they are…
1. Moroccan Time.
I’m not talking about time zones here. I’m talking more about pace of life. You see I’ve worked all over the globe, so I’m keenly aware to the difference in the pace of things in different parts of the world, however, Moroccan time, is a whole different ball game. But what I kept thinking about was the insanity of trying to force my schedule, within reason, upon a culture and pace of life that simply didn’t need it. It’s no secret that here in America, we want everything now. Yesterday as a matter of fact. We have more fast food restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the world and for a business to offer free overnight shipping has nearly become an expected bonus. So having to construct a massive stage over a pool, and integrate all the different facets of technology, branding, and mediums, in just a few days, with a slew of people speaking different languages, was quite a challenge.
The pace of life, can easily rob us of the beauty and sacrament of the moment. [tweet that if you like]
2. Haters are everywhere.
Jon Acuff has famously coined the phrase “Hater’s Math” and what surprised me was that even on the other side of the world, in Morocco, of all places, haters still exist. It was really challenging for me to reframe my experience in light of all the many congratulations and compliments from the organizers and fellow producers for a job well done, when all I could think about was that one hater. That one individual who seemed to just want to make everyone’s life miserable. But it just goes to show, you truly can’t please everyone, and when forming an identity around trying, the truest perspectives will be stolen from you.
Our ability to know the truth, will be stolen from us, when we create an identity based on people pleasing. [tweet that too]
3. Building a team.
This was the most amazing takeaway for me and one that I know just about everyone can benefit from. Everything in life worth doing well, that makes a difference or creates change involves a team. So learning how to attract and recruit, building that team, are necessary skills that we all need to sharpen if we are to Create the Awesome. So imagine a large group of people, speaking different languages. Some are speaking French, some Arabic, some Spanish, and even some Farsi. None are speaking english. That was my team in Morocco! Luckily for me, I understand and speak enough French and Spanish to get by, but honestly the key to success was learning a few Arabic phrases. That showed my team I was willing to get to their level and work with them, not just order them around. By the end of the week, we were like a giant family, laughing and thoroughly enjoying one another. Learning how to take a group of people, all with different skill sets, different passions and interests and unite them under a single purpose is one of the single greatest characteristics of a leader. I was honored and proud to experience that this past week!
Awesome happens when a leader builds and unites a team under a common purpose. [To be Awesome, tweet that!]
Although I have traveled and worked in just about every continent and country on the planet, this experience from Marrakech, Morocco tested and challenged me in ways, I truly count as blessings!
Have you ever had an experience that challenged you, but looking back on it, you consider it a blessing?
Leave a comment below!