Teamwork…Making a dream come through!
In May of this year, Lynda-Ross wrote a blog about Building Relationships and shared the news of the engagement of our eldest grandson. She also shared how understanding Perceptual Style has made it much easier for us to see differences between family members aren’t right or wrong. They just are.
Fast forward to August 2nd. We had arrived in Holbox Island for a week-long vacation of relaxation with our grandson Dylan and his fiancée, my brother, Lynda-Ross’s sister, and two of my cousins from Colombia. We were sitting around the pool when Dylan sat next to me and said, “Oggy (all of our grandkids call me Oggy), we’ve decided to get married here…this week…can you help us”.
Thirty-five years of Project Management experience and seventy-one years of life fought for a place in my brain. I asked Dylan if he might want to wait to be surrounded by their parents and friends and that we could always schedule to return to Holbox at a later time with all of them. He replied that he and his fiancée, Gigi, had thought it through and decided that given they were already surrounded by people they loved, and because they loved each other, this was the right time and place.
Once I fought back the tears, it was time to shift into Project Management mode.
You see, the romantic side of me already was all in. I am the person who rented a private island in Curacao for our 20th wedding anniversary. When we are frustrated with the world around us, we’ve long had a saying that “it must be time to escape to an island”. Lynda-Ross didn’t know about the destination for our anniversary trip, and she invited my parents, my sister, and our daughter and her husband to join us on a “vacation”……SURPRISE!!!
Back to Dylan’s request. After informing all the members of our party of the situation and multiple rounds of hugs and toasts to the couple, we proceeded to research the options we had on the internet. Most of the write-ups dealt with companies that would arrange this type of event, and the underlying message was that this is not something that could be arranged immediately, so we decided to leave a message with our “Guest Services Concierge” on Sunday afternoon.
The practical side of me started going over the basics of our “Team Dynamics Blueprint” as it became clear we needed everyone to help given such a short deadline and I needed to understand:
The differences in how each person saw the world and the natural strengths they each brought to the team.
The ways each of us preferred to interact with others and what that meant to our team.
The composite strengths of all team members and the roles each would shine in.
Any gaps in roles needed by the team that weren’t supported by team members’ strengths and how to close those gaps.
My personal communication strengths and challenges with tips on maximizing connection and avoiding disconnects.
Each team member’s hidden potential and how to bring it out in team activities.
How each of us handled conflict and tips on what to do to help resolve it when it happened.
I had an advantage because the team was all family members who had known each other for such a long time. That, plus I had an understanding of each person’s Perceptual Style made this task easier.
By Tuesday morning, we had not heard from our Concierge, so we approached the young man (Ricardo) we had hired to make breakfast for our group. He said he would ask his aunt, who had lived on the island all her life, and get back to me…and get back to us he did. By Tuesday night, he had identified a Shaman that could officiate a Mayan wedding. Since the civil governments do not recognize this type of wedding, a civil ceremony would also need to be held, so he had made an appointment to speak to the town mayor on Thursday morning (the next available time).
We briefed Dylan and his bride-to-be on our findings, and they decided they would like to have a Mayan wedding and then marry at the courthouse upon returning to the states. At this point, we had seventy-two hours left in Isla Holbox.
On Wednesday morning, we learned the Shaman would be available Thursday afternoon for a 6 p.m. ceremony. Now was the time for the team to get into action!
The Team Dynamics Blueprint teaches us that the key ingredient to a successful team is understanding and believing in the goal to be achieved, minimizing scope creep, and trusting the leadership approach of capitalizing on each individual’s strengths while allowing the leeway for each to contribute toward the completion of the goal at hand…so how did this play out in this situation?
Lynda-Ross and her sister walked into town to talk to the woman who sold cut flowers by the village square about flowers to make crowns for the ceremony.
The cousins and I discussed the guidelines and instructions form the Shaman for the ceremony with Ricardo as well as menu options for the post-ceremony celebration.
My brother volunteered as the cinematographer and started investigating options for a live feed of the ceremony.
The groom and bride-to-be walked into town to find her wedding dress and wedding rings.
Dylan and Gigi called their parents to let them know of their decision to marry the next day.
The lady selling flowers took Lynda-Ross and her sister to find a base for the crowns that she could adorn with flowers for the bride and the groom. They visited the three stores on the island that might carry what she was looking for, but no luck. Then she stopped at a construction site, explained her dilemma to a couple of workers, and asked if they could give her aluminum wire that she could fashion into a crown. They provided her with two different sets of wires and would not accept a tip – they just smiled and offered congratulations on the wedding. The flower lady then proceeded to make two absolutely beautiful crowns.
Dylan and Gigi found a dress and rings in short order. My brother and I found champagne and scotch (my late father and Dylan had shared Dylan’s first drink in Cancun 10 years earlier – Single malt scotch).
My brother took it upon himself to ensure that every member of our group was properly taken care of (serving food, drinks, etc.).
The cousins and I learned from Ricardo that the bride and groom should wear white and the rest of us should wear something white or off-white to compliment but not detract. The cousins set about reviewing wardrobe options for everyone and found attire solutions for everyone amongst things we had packed (we were on an island after all). The cousins and I also finalized the menu for the “reception”.
Dylan’s dad and stepmother booked a flight to Cancun for Thursday morning while my brother and I coordinated transportation for them to get to the island.
And to top it all off, every day of the week we were regaled with live music by a trio that played under our porch for $5 USD per song.
I mentioned above that I knew the Perceptual Style of each of the family members – in addition to Lynda-Ross (Vision) and me (Activity) our group consisted of 2 Methods, 2 additional Activity, 1 Adjustment, and 1 Flow. Five out of the 6 styles!
Knowing everyone’s Perceptual Style, and the fact that Perceptual Style awareness is a normal thing in our family, made my job of project management so much easier. Each person naturally gravitated toward the tasks they know they would do well (and that they enjoyed).
Where we had gaps in our natural strengths and preferences, I was able to make suggestions as to who might take on those tasks and provide rationale. One thing I found fascinating was that each of these family members stretched outside of their comfort zones in order to achieve the common goal of a special wedding event for Dylan and Gigi.
As we talked about the event later, everyone said that they didn’t have time to pick and choose their tasks because as they were focused and bonded together by the desire to make the occasion special. It felt to them like more of an “all hands on deck” adventure.
There were no concerns over the bride’s dress conflicting with anyone else’s, or the bridesmaid’s colors, the flower arrangements, the food to be served, the size of the venue, the number of invitees, the music to be played, or the couple’s first dance. Instead, we all experienced the fun and joy of helping to make a dream come true and sharing in a very special occasion.
The entire week was a wonderful example of the power of Team Dynamics in action!
By the way, after the wedding, the couple and guests adjourned to the beach to watch the sun go down and then the groom spent the next four hours playing the music that he and his wife loved! One song he played was “My Way” – the Vega tradition I shared in a previous blog (July, 2022) lives on!
Ricardo Vega is the Director of Operations at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd. and a certified Perceptual Style Guide. He has over 40 years of experience in technology, product and project delivery, disaster recovery, and team coaching. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs and teams with Product Planning & Delivery, Team Building, and Change Administration. For more information, visit https://www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.
Please select the following link for additional information about Ricardo Vega