What Is It That You…

What is that?

For the past sixteen or so years I’ve been conducting a leadership experiment if you will even to the point were in the early days of the internet had posted the questionnaire for all comers to answer.  It’s been a while since this “game” has been used; however it’s worth a reprisal for discussion purposes.  As here is how it works, the game starts as a story and ends with a question so it’s important you pay close attention. Ok, let’s get started.

Imagine if you will that you’ve joined the Peace Core, an organization which is known throughout the world over for providing humanitarian services in third world nations.  They do this by inserting trained personal with the local populous for a period of typically two years.  During this time you will be assisting the local villagers to complete an irrigation project as the village needs the fresh water for their crops.

The settlement you will be stationed at for the next two years is deep within sub Saharan Africa and to get there you arrive early at a tiny airport which the Peace Corp uses to charter small aircraft with experienced bush pilots to ferry personal and supplies to these remote villages like the one you’re headed to.

The morning you arrive the sun is still low in the sky yet it’s already hot, actually it’s very hot and you say to yourself “better get used to it as no air conditioning for the next two years“.  As you’re thinking this, up from behind you comes John your pilot with a warm greeting and hand shake.  He shares with you that he has been flying in and out of the bush for over 10 years and asks if you have all your stuff with you to which you nod yes.

So it’s out of the building you head with only your backpack as you will be living with the villagers and the only power is provided by a small solar cell which is used to charge a car battery for a communal radio, so no need for a lot of things. You think to yourself, what life will be like for two years off the grid and your mind wanders.

As you approach the plane, the wandering ceases as you notice two other people waiting also, John shares that Jen and Ben also Peace Corp volunteers are heading to a neighboring village and they are hopping a ride too.  As you board the plane and exchange pleasantries you notice it’s rather cramped inside and in fact the plane looks rather it’s age well vintage and you begin to make mention of this to John as he stops you mid sentence to share this old bird is more than fit as age adds character and it’s clear John at least is one, character that is.

So as you take off, Ben and Jen old hats at this have already settled in the back with the stowed cargo in anticipation of the four hour flight. You on the other hand are still trying to settle in, trying to get comfortable and just as you start to doze off you hear it start.  It’s a noise, not a good noise either and as you pull yourself back from your near slumber, the realization quickly comes over you that this is a warning buzzer and all is far from being right.

As you make you way forward toward John in the cockpit, the feeling over takes you that you’re falling and falling fast.  You hear John in the forward franticly trying to correct the situation, however from the fear in the old boy’s voice you know you’re going down and down hard. There is nothing you can do.

As you awake, the smell of smoke is in the air and you notice a warm trickle running down the side of your face, you reach over only to find it’s your own blood from a minor head wound, the plane has crashed.  You desperately look for the others; however it becomes clear quickly that they were not as fortunate as you, you’re alone.

After a few minutes in the mid day desert sun, the weight of the situation sinks in, you’re in the middle of the desert, all the supplies are destroyed and you have no bearing of your location or means to communicate your plight.  So you take shelter in the carcass of the plane’s fuselage waiting for night fall as you have decided to take a cardinal direction and attempt to head out into the desert to find assistance.

As night fall comes, you head out and now you’ve been traveling for hours many hours in fact as it is now mid day of the next and the sun is once again high in the clear sky and you’ve been without water for over 24 hours.

Now here comes the question, please complete the following sentence:

I _________________________________________.  (Continued Tomorrow)

About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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