The Importance of We.

Face it, none of us has all the answers. I mean we know stuff, we’re good at stuff, just not everything.That’s what makes collaboration, teamwork, so important. I was watching Star Trek Beyond one night and there was a line spoken by Scotty that went something like, “My wee granny used to say, ye canna’ break a stick in a bundle.You’re part of something bigger now. Don’t you give up on that, because we’ll sure never give up on you.That’s what being part of a crew is all about.” I think that represents the culture we’re building at Freedom.

Obviously if this were a comparison to the Enterprise I would be the dashing Captain Kirk, but more to the point, it would refer to the idea that we embrace our differences and abilities in order to be stronger as a team. We train, we support, we communicate, we evaluate, and we try to make things work until they just won’t and then we try something different. Sometimes we’ve held on to things too long, looked past flawed ideologies, accepted under performance in equipment and people more than we should, but if the “why” for that was because we hadn’t done everything in our power to get things right, then we still held true to that belief in the team. We can be insightful, creative, infuriating, entertaining, surprising, inspirational, confusing (and a dozen other adjectives), but that makes each day a thrilling, challenging and satisfying experience. We are what makes the difference and it’s exciting to think about where we can go and how we will positively impact members and the community.

This goes well beyond meeting needs with financial products and services.It’s about how we provide financial education, volunteer in the community, support charitable causes and continually strive to be a better neighbor. It’s also about how we protect our members and our enterprise (see what I did there?) from the things that would seek to damage our reputation or take advantage of people.This takes more than just one person or department. Because of the abilities of our crew we can raise our shields in defense of our members and boldly become a better business/community partner.

What I’m saying is simply this; in unity there is strength and together we are breakable. Scotty’s quote was based on the following fable by Aesop (a Greek storyteller):

The Bundle of Sticks

An old farmer had three sons who quarreled among themselves from dawn till dusk. One day, the farmer fell gravely ill. Wishing to make peace among his sons before he died, he called them to his bedside and asked them to bring a thick bundle of sticks.

“Can you break these in two?” asked the farmer, handing the sticks to the oldest son.

“Of course!” the young man answered scornfully. But even though he tried until he was red in the face, he couldn’t break the bundle of sticks.

“Why, those sticks are no thicker than my finger,” mocked the second son.

“I could break those sticks like straw,” boasted the third. And they both tried with all their might, but neither could break the bundle of sticks in two.

Then the father drew three sticks from the bundle and handed one to each of his sons. “Can you break them now?” he asked. And they did so easily.

“Let the sticks teach you,” said the father to his sons, “how strong you are when you are allied together, and how easily you can be broken on your own.”