The Virtues of Locking Your Keys in Your Car

We had been on a “team building” outing. We do it often; it’s part of the fabric of Quantum’s culture. We believe shared experience creates connection, and “connection” creates “family.” And Quantum is nothing if not family.

We toured a local business. We walked around, asked questions, and learned. We laughed and ate together. We enjoyed an afternoon away from computers and agendas to simply share time and conversation, to learn about each other and create the shared experience that produces family. As the tour concluded, the teambuilding ended, and, unexpectedly, the teamwork began. What does teamwork look like? Well, a lot like this…

"I've almost got it!"

As we were about to part ways, one of our own discovered he had locked his keys in his truck—the ultimate puzzle, familiar to most of us. Better than an escape room exercise, the team was presented with an opportunity to work together and, even better, take care of each other.

It was the best part of the day.

The whole incident only lasted ten minutes, but in that short time we learned so much about teamwork.

As it turns out, teamwork isn’t really all that glamorous. Sometimes, it doesn’t even look like teamwork. Sometimes, it's just a bunch of people standing around trying to figure out how to get the keys out of a locked car. There wasn’t much we could do except be there. But isn’t that really the definition of teamwork? Being there for others, offering what you can even if isn’t much, and making sure that they reach their goals and overcome their obstacles?

Genuine teamwork has little to do with “trust falls” or ropes courses, as valuable as those exercises may be. More often than not, there are no trophies to win, no high-fives to give, no prizes or gift certificates to pass around. But there are great rewards: family and fulfillment.

At Quantum, one of our core values—you’ll see them on our walls if you ever visit our offices—is “All in the same boat.” It implies many things, but most of all it suggests that we share a destination. We’re going to the same place by the same route, and we’re going to arrive there together, as a unit, as a team, as a family. And if a member of our family grows fatigued from the rowing or is struggling to keep up (or locks his keys in his car) we’ll row for him.

So, the next time you’re at a ropes course, consider locking your keys in your car. You may just end up with a stronger team, a bigger family, and fuller heart.