In the course of this journey to a new heart for Lee, there have been multiple teams.
First, there was the Evaluation Team to see if Lee would qualify for heart transplant. This involved a week and a half of intensive testing for any other health issues, physical, psychological or mental, five or six immunizations and several dozen blood tests.
Once it became clear that Lee’s old heart was deteriorating too fast to wait for the right donor heart, it was the LVAD Team who showed up to help him accept and then function well with an implanted heart pump as a bridge to transplant.
Once Lee had recovered sufficiently from the LVAD surgery, the Heart Transplant Coordinators placed his name on the list of people waiting for a heart and together we began the vigil to find a match in blood type and heart size for Lee when his turn came.
Now we’re working closely with the Post Transplant Team to make sure we minimize the risk that Lee’s body will reject his new heart, and that the very powerful medications required to prevent rejection don’t cause cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis or kidney failure -- to name a few common side effects. For the past six weeks, there have been infusions, labs, biopsies and clinics nearly every day of the week. Our team calls at least every other day to adjust the balance of the 40 plus medications Lee takes every day, and to offer encouragement when progress is painful and slow.
Several of the team members we’ve worked with have become lifelong friends. It’s not impersonal. I’m sure they care about UCSF’s survival statistics and the security of their jobs, but there’s no question that that these are people dedicated to extending and expanding the lives of people like Lee -- as many as they can.
I ask myself: What are the chances that Lee and I could navigate this maze on our own? What are the odds that Lee would have survived without the coordinated efforts of proven teams?
I believe it’s not too much of a reach to say that the coordinated efforts of proven teams is just as crucial in building our business.
When I first became a business owner, I didn’t understand the power of team. I didn’t play baseball, basketball or even volleyball. I wasn’t on a swim team like Lee. I suffered from the common misconception that I had to get up to speed and somehow become a masterful business builder overnight.
It took a while but then I began to understand that I had neither the knowledge, nor the resources, nor the time and energy to succeed on my own. I learned that every part of the business, every step of the 8 Step Pattern of Success is a team effort.
I love Kris Sudduth’s response when a candidate says, “But I don’t have enough time!” She says, “It’s not that you don’t have enough TIME; it’s that you don’t have enough TEAM.”
How do we leverage what time we each have? And how do we leverage the skills we each have? The answer is allow ourselves to become accountable to a proven team dedicated to expanding lives, just as Lee and I became accountable to proven team dedicated to extending lives.
When I first got started in my business, a full time job and two small children meant I had very little time to devote to it. I was a good student: I listened, I read, I showed up at open plans and seminars -- and I made a few calls that resulted in a couple of partners. My support team then leveraged my time by helping me build my dream and my list, improve my calls, show short effective plans and always follow-through as promptly as possible. They were always there to encourage, celebrate and course-correct.
Allen Sudduth likes to say that he and the team supporting him weren’t going to see each other at the same parties. I get what he means: I felt different from my new team; It took awhile for me to look past our differences to see that they had knowledge and experience that I didn’t, and that working together we could create exponential growth. As individuals we each had a piece or two of the puzzle but together we had all the pieces to make our visions into reality.
Success as a heart transplant recipient or as a business owner -- success in anything -- means you were willing to show up for practice, listen to those with the knowledge and the vision, and then pay it forward. The one in the spotlight who has achieved success has a team or multiple teams who supported their ascent -- who provided the knowledge, the resources, and the encouragement. This is always true in any field of endeavor.
Getting registered is good. Getting started is something else entirely. Getting started means finding those members of your team who are eager to show you the ropes and give you a boost in the direction of your dreams. Your team hangs in there, believing in your dream even when you don’t.
Susan is a published writer and motivational speaker with 30 years of experience, dedicated to guiding people to a life of financial invincibility and peace of mind.