In today’s society were pushed to believe that it’s a dog eat dog world where only the toughest survive but could we be missing out on a huge opportunity that online and offline collaboration has to offer in terms of business and personal well-being?
“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
The Spartans were one of the most feared military forces in world history and we’ll known for their infantry-based armies that fought using the Phalanx formation. Although the Spartans were trained to be brutal killers wielding spears and swords, they actually saw their shields as being the most important piece of their armoury because not only did it protect the user, but most importantly the phalanx formation and the success of the pack.
“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek
Spartan mothers would give their sons a shield with the words “[Return] With it or [carried] on it!” (Ἢ τὰν ἢ ἐπὶ τᾶς), that is to say, either victorious or dead, since in battle, the heavy hoplite shield would be the first thing a fleeing soldier would be tempted to abandon rhipsaspia, “dropping the shield”, was a synonym for desertion in the field and the ultimate disgrace.
Spartans understood that having a collective interest was safer and more rewarding than going it alone. There was no room for egos. Nowadays, we’re so afraid to share our ideas in fear that they will be stolen, we hold back information so we can look down on those less informed but worst of all, we get so tied up in our own struggles that we forget to support and help nurture those closest to us.
Like the saying goes, “Nobody ever became poor through giving.” If you’re not actively trying to raise those up around you, not only are you ‘dropping the shield’ but you’re also putting your pack and yourself at a disadvantage.
Who are the five people closest to you and how do you support them?