Story – A Quote from Mother Teresa

Well this is not actually a story, but one of the quotes from Mother Teresa which you can use in your debriefing to emphasize the power of teamwork.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
― Mother Teresa

If you wish, and depending on the situation and time, you can share with the participants a little more about Mother Teresa.

I have extracted the two paragraphs below from Wikipedia for your easy reference.

Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997), more commonly known as Mother Teresawas a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, in 1950. For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. Following her death, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II and given the title “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta”.

Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity at the time of her death had 610 missions in 123 countries including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counselling programmes, orphanages and schools. She received numerous awards including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and the Bharat Ratna in 1980.

Story – Charles Plumb and his Parachute

This story recognizes the unsung heroes, those who work behind the scene to ensure the success of the team, project or in this case a war mission. Some times team efforts may not be directly linked to the success of an endeavor. This story illustrates how important it is to have dedicate people behind the team to carry out their roles diligently despite the lack of visibility.

This is a true story about Captain J. Charles Plumb. He was was a navy jet pilot who on his 76th combat mission was shot down and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in prison. He survived and is now an author and motivational speaker on the lessons he learned from his experiences.

One day, a man approached Plumb and his wife in a restaurant, and said, “Are you Plumb the navy pilot?”

“Yes, how did you know?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb was amazed but at the same time grateful. “If the chute you packed hadn’t worked I wouldn’t be here today…”

Plumb realized and acknowledged that the anonymous sailors who packed his parachute saved his live. That sailor is a critical part of his team on a mission. Yet many times pilots never gave these sailors a second thought; never even said hello, let alone said thanks.

Now relate this story to your context. “Who pack your parachutes? Who are those in the team that helps you achieve your goals? Who help you through your life?

Recognize that every team member has a part to play to contribute to the team’s success, no matter how small the role is. Now, remember to thank and acknowledge their contribution next time.