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Outward Bound McKenzie Watch, May 2003 and still going

Why did I ever go on Outward Bound all those years ago?

Well, it was an accident really... and once I'd signed up and got sponsorship I couldn't back out. I was terrified for the few weeks beforehand as I lumbered about trying to get to my version of fit. Even my GP asked me—why do you want to do it?

But I survived the eight days. And it was very much that: survival. All those cliches about being out of my comfort zone were real. Reflecting about myself was the easy bit for me, and it was indoors. Most of the others found that hard. A huge relief—something I could do!

I could regale you with tales of my last night, in Blenheim Hospital with a muscle tear and morphine (wow, it was effective), but that would be missing the point about the whole experience.

McKenzie Watch, dressed for outdoor activity
McKenzie Watch: Hilary, back row, third from right

And that point is that all these years later we, McKenzie Watch, still meet every year for a weekend. We're firm pals and know each other well: vulnerabilities, wet knickers, angst and all. We're all quite different people: a farmer, nurse, real estate agent, community worker, mad keen cyclist, legal secretary, advisor with a Regional Council, DoC worker, retiree, Corrections Officer, and me running a learning and development consultancy in Wellington.

Why haven't our bonds broken? Well, a couple of people work behind the scenes to make sure things happen—a bit of quiet leadership. Trust, commitment, fun, laughter, telling the same stories over again, and genuine love. What is it Gary Hamel says? (What Matters Now, 2012) Why is it words like love, devotion and honour are so seldom heard in the halls of corporate-dom?

We're not a corporate group; we're a random group of people thrown together for a collective experience. Sounds like a work team to me. And love, devotion, honour and trust are all there in spades. Still going strong 17 years later.


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