The Coastal Redwood is the tallest tree on the planet. Standing as high as 380 feet, this tree is more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The wood from one of these giants (nearly 250,000 board feet of lumber) could build 40 homes. Astounding!
But what is more impressive about these behemoths is how they get so big and strong. It’s all about teamwork. Though the Redwoods have some of the shallowest root systems, their inter-connectedness provides tremendous strength as they hold onto each other.
We, like the Redwood, should avoid the toxicity of isolation and learn to grow more connected. Optimum strength will never be found in one person but in a team of people working together.
Unfortunately, COVID increased our propensity for self-sufficiency. More than 60% of Americans say they feel lonely. Not only are we achieving below our potential, we are hurting ourselves. The health detriments of loneliness are worse than smoking 15 cigarettes per day. The US Surgeon General is calling this an epidemic. Our culture is dying of isolation and loneliness. We need each other!
As a former collegiate football player, NFL physician, and ER doctor, I’ve seen highly effective teams and highly ineffective teams. I believe that trust is the secret to maximizing group effectiveness. When we trust each other, we are interconnected like the roots of the mighty Redwood tree. We are linked together in a way that unlocks our collective potential. Alone and isolated, we could never achieve such magnificent heights as when we share the power of trust.