At AdFarm, we take great pride in the relationships we have with our clients. We very much consider those relationships to be partnerships and we treat them that way. This past weekend, myself and 3 other AdFarmers, together with our client partner Agrotain, ran the Hood to Coast relay.
Hood to Coast is a 12-person relay race that starts at Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood and spans 197 miles to Seaside, Oregon, on the Pacific Ocean. Depending on the skill level of the runners, the race takes a team anywhere between 17 and 33 hours.
We finished in just over 30 hours. An activity like this is a real test of stamina and patience. It’s not only physically trying but for the most part of that 30 hours you are crammed into a passenger van with 6 other people – five of whom are as sore, tired and smelly as you are. The sixth person - the driver - might not be as smelly, but is at least as sleep deprived if not more, with the pressure of keeping the van between the lines for those 30 straight hours.
Developing a bond
Now, this kind of human experience would be difficult with your closest and most intimate friends. Our team was made up of business associates from across the country.
On paper what we had in common was the company Agrotain International. We all work for or with this company. We were all professionals and knew how to handle social situations; some of us had met before and others were meeting for the first time. At our pre-race meeting on Thursday evening, we were a professional group familiarizing ourselves with each other. And then we ran Hood to Coast. By 2 pm on Saturday afternoon, we were a very different group. We had cheered each other on, pushed each other through, and picked each other up. We were swelling (and smelling) with pride. Proud of our team and proud of our teammates.
We were more than business associates; we were friends with a common bond and a new sense of trust. I believe our business partnership will be stronger for it as well.
What are some unique ways you or your company have gone about strengthening bonds and building relationships?
Les Kahl is a creative director at AdFarm with a longtime respect for teamwork. Follow him on Twitter @les14 .