You Make Me Brave

10 year old selling water out of a cooler with a sign

Our son was trying out his first entrepreneurial endeavor peddling water out of a children's wagon on a hot day while crowds lined the street awaiting a 4th of July parade.  He loves money and loves the idea of making it, but getting over the hump of being an outlier and standing out to do so stops him in his tracks.

He mumbles, "Water.  One dollar," past blocks of parade watchers if he says anything at all.  We have encouraged and outright pushed him to show a little enthusiasm at an increased volume.  But still, he's hamstrung, nearly paralyzed.

Eventually, his younger sister mercifully offers her assistance, both in moral support and filling in with enthusiastic price announcements every 15 feet.  And she was so darn cute. Yes! You wanted a water bottle for a dollar from that patriotic little girl.

After $10 in earnings, our son was confidence-drunk on the sales. He took off running and made $80 on that parade route.  The next year, our son planned for even more sales. But when he pulled his H20 loaded wagon towards the Avenue, he experience the same crisis.  He was again, paralyzed by fear.

A young boy and his little sister with their arms around each other

"I can't do this!  I don't want to do it!  I need Lydia! Lydia, help me. You make me brave!" In a vulnerable moment my son was able to experience the value of teams.  We weren't made to go this alone. We rally when our partners are tapped out. We step in where they lack.  We weren't made to be alone. We were made to need others and to be brave for others when they are short on courage. Teams make us brave.

Teams make us brave. And that is not all they do. They give us a sense of belonging and purpose. They allow us to accomplish more than we ever could on our own. I have seen this play out so many times with my kids but it is no different when we are accomplishing amazing things at work. We were made to scale new heights with a team of people there cheering us on and crossing the finish line together.

Ask yourself, what does your team do for you? What do you do for your team?
How does your team help you be brave, and can it be better?

(For another reflection on Peter, check out the blog post titled, Relationships are Critical to Team Success)