Impression of Development Activities at Longqingxia

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Yang Jiong, Trainee of First Session for MBA in Entrepreneurship

The Eagle & Goose Team of 36 pre-school students for MBA in Entrepreneurship of NBS ended the two-day development activity while enjoying the scenery at Longqingxia. What we have benefited most from the activity is: in a team activity, it is necessary to first define the leadership and work division, even if the team consists of two persons; otherwise, it will lead to a result with double the effort.

On the morning of Day 1, when the activity of putting up the camp started, the trainer hinted that each appliance in the tent package would be used for a specific purpose and all the work must be completed within 20 minutes. When the time started to count, all the team members began to work on their own, without any unified planning action or any work division. I concentrated in putting up one of the posts before helping to fix, while other were also busy with their jobs. The tent was gradually erected. When it was almost completed, it was found that there was no place for fixing the second iron-wire frame. Then, we came to know it had to be mounted on the skylight. To do so, we had to lower down the erected tent. For this, we wasted at least 5 minutes, for which we lost the contest. It took us 25 minutes to complete the whole job. We delayed for this task.

Obviously, the main reason for delaying was the failure to have a unified organization plan and identify the uses of each appliance. After that, we selected a leader of our group so as to make up the lost time. At the beginning, we did not think before acting for the purpose of completing the task at the earliest. Yet, it was an extremely primitive act. As per common saying, look before leaping: it will be more successful to think before acting than to act right away. Hence, the perfect practice for this activity should be: 1) elect one leader for unified organization; 2) define duties; 3) promptly formulate a solution for mounting; 4) take action. Surely, if we had acted according to such procedure, it would have been all possible to complete the whole task within 15 minutes. Actually, we may think first when working daily, but the failure in forming such behavioral habit causes us to be passive in a different scene and forge the basic practice. This indicates that we have a big problem with our way of thinking, which needs to be improved. It is the biggest benefit we have gained from the activity.

Next activity was the team work for climbing over the 4m wall, which should be completed by all the group members within 20 minutes, without using any tool. This time, the group leader organized to study the solution for climbing: the two strong members will go first, and then the relatively weak girls and the boys with heavy weight would come, while the remaining two persons will be pulled up. When pulling up the last two persons, the problem came: actually, those with the highest requirement are the last two persons. Yet, the two among us in compliance with the requirement were already up. With no way out, we had to pull up one of them and then the other one by the person with more strength. We managed to complete the task, but much late.

This activity has enlightened us: the work division should be made with consideration to details. Obviously, we were right to make a preliminary solution, but failed to take into account the specialty of the important post. Consequently, we failed without leaving the competent persons behind. Such phenomenon is quite common in the enterprise management. Actually, everyone knows about the principle, but would make the same mistake in practice. Any boss or professional management will be the same. This activity clearly tells us: it will be a huge harm to allocate any unsuitable person for any unsuitable post, resulting in the harm to the normal operation of a company to the minimum or to its bankruptcy to the maximum.

In the afternoon, the group PK was conducted: each group would complete five specified items and the group completing first would win. The sequence of completing the items will be decided by different groups, while the final power is in the hand of the group leader. This activity requires for quick interconnection, low error rate for each item and the time count will restart in case of any error in the process. Therefore, this activity tests the capacity of team work and the decision of a leader. We made a major error in the collective rope skipping: the time was recounted five times. The error was due to the irritable mood of the group members that caused deformation in action as well as the irrational arrangement for the overall item. Yet, we could restart after each error, showing a spirit of never yielding in spite of reverses.

Since different people have different views, the leadership of the group leader is especially critical. He can neither waste time in organizing endless discussions, nor handle the matter arbitrarily, for the dissatisfactory mood of its member in participation will definitely lower the probability of success. Therefore, the leader must be convincing so that the team can work efficiently.

The next game was to practice the capacity of coordination in the process of decision–instruction—action. The deadline for completion was 1 hour. The team was divided into groups: the dumb group (not allowed to speak, but to pass on the game rules by body language); the crippled group (allowed to speak, but restricted in action); the blind group (unable to see anything, but required to obey the instructions). Actually, the three groups represent the decision—instruction–action. During the activity, we encountered the biggest trouble: unsmooth delivery of information. The crippled group could hardly understand the meaning of the dumb group and the crippled group showed different opinions internally causing the blind group to have no idea about what to do. We had a team leader, but forgot to define the group leaders when grouping. The crippled group of four failed to specify a leader and define the duties for each member, so the group showed different opinions and continuous disagreement. In the trial run, a huge amount of time wasted, resulting in the failure due to the delay in time.

This instance indicates again: for more than two persons to complete one thing, it is necessary to define the leadership and work division. It is sometimes observed that consistence is reached without making it clear orally. It is commonly known as good teamwork. Actually, it is the leadership and work division in an ideal state; it is necessary to take a clearcut stand among strangers, while those known to each other will give tacit consent to the leadership and work division. We unconsciously made the same mistake just because we had treated a strange team as a familiar team. Since the mutual trust is not yet established, duties of each person must be made clear, in the circumstance of having no time to promote the cognition between individuals at the earliest; otherwise, it will be hard to go on without adequate communication of information.

Afterwards, we worked on a matching game: tangram. The team wisdom is required to complete one of the tasks collectively, but not independently. The activity started with the member receiving and delivering the task instruction, but the trouble came: due to the improper method, no one believed his authority. Since the game rule did not allow others to see the instruction, the group leader was deemed as the leader. At this moment, since only the group leader had the authority, the game rule was rigidly executed, without interpreting the game rule with the authority. Thus, we failed in the game, due to delay.
In the evening, we played a developmental game: assuming we meet with a mishap at sea and go to a rubber dinghy for survival, on which there are only 14 substances. Under such special circumstance, the 14 substances shall be sequenced according to their importance, first by individuals and then by the group upon discussion. It mainly tests the team force and leadership. Upon sequencing, the results showed the team value of group higher than the individual value, indicating the team force is higher than the individual force. During the discussion, the group leader has to be convincing to balance the views from different sides. The function of the group leader is to express and carry out the team force.

Day 2 was scheduled for a tour to Longqingxia. The first activity was climbing up, which tested our endurance. Then, we went downhill. It required for some skills and some of us failed. Climbing up and going downhill is just like the rise and fall of human life and also like the life cycle of a company, with high tides and low tides. As students of MBA in Entrepreneurship, we have especially felt the rhythm of such life. In the green mountains and water of Longqingxia, we have experienced the infinite scene of nature and also foreseen our brilliant future. Through this activity, we have become aware that the team leadership and work division must be first defined at any time, because it is the key for the success of a leader. We have really benefited much for participating in such activity.

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