Building Together

I love to build things! Anything! Truth be told, as far as I can remember, I’ve been building with Tinker Toys, Lego bricks, and building blocks. Reaching for these creative outlets has always been a wonderful way to explore my abilities and create something unique to me.  As a former skater, I built performance programs to highlight my physical abilities and later as my career progressed I built sales teams.

So needless to say I’m a builder from way back. This week I was delighted and honored to be asked to train other creators/colleagues at Douglas Elliman about social media and marketing & promotions. I was thrilled to put my leadership skills to use for a full day in New York City. What a terrific group of people–thanks to all who were able to attend.

I wrapped up the end of the day with a building exercise—literally! I designed it to show and reiterate how success in marketing & promotions (once you’ve identified your brand) is about creating partners within your community.  This is where my stash of Lego bricks came in handy. Every participant received a pile of bricks and was given five minutes to create. The instructions only had three simple rules:

  1. Build a skyscraper.
  2. Use only one hand.
  3. Put your dominant hand behind your back.

Everyone struggled, not only with the “one non-dominant hand” restriction but with the time limit.

What was wonderful that I noticed that three participants soon decided to work together. What was the “aha” for the others? They continued to struggle by trying to do it on their own—and were not being as successful as a result.

The lesson was simple. Life is about building, whether it’s a brand, a partnership, trust or successes.  Each Lego brick represented a goal or a success. We sometimes struggle in life—which is why I asked them to use only their non-dominant hand. Only when we unite and connect can we be successful. There was no reason the entire room could not come together. In fact, that would be the ultimate end result. We all reinforced for each other the lesson that togetherness and contribution is not just an act of one; rather it’s the result of the efforts and collaboration of others.

So my MARtians I leave you with this: Build your dreams with others in mind, build a career with partners and allies, and build knowledge by building connections and resources.