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Not-so-trivial Pursuits


Section of the Berlin wall
For a few hours last Friday, our staff hiked all over Washington, DC, looking for the answers to such clues as: "Harry S. Truman called it 'the greatest monstrosity in America.'" (Answer: the Old Executive Office Building); or "Here you can find the largest display of sections of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany." (Answer: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center); and "Do your best impression of Charlie's Angels in front of this creation of the Malrite Company." (Answer: The Spy Museum). A scaled-down version of "The Amazing Race" was developed and managed as a team-building exercise by several of our new professionals (who did a spectacular job), and our staff was divided into four groups, which were pitted against each other in friendly competition. We exercised our wits, our individual skills and ourselves, and we arrived back at the office in time for lunch, tired and hungry and ready to celebrate the winners and each other.

There's something great that happens when we experience a challenge together. I well remember the closeness we all felt at the Worldwide ERC® fall meeting directly following 9/11 – as if we were long-lost relatives finding each other at last. And I see it each time our industry makes it through hard times, as we have through the recession and the resulting "aftershocks," or how we pull together to help a region come back from a disaster. It's all about having each other's backs, about your teammate knowing that no matter what, you're there for them, and that the collective creativity and intelligence of the entire group can do what one person alone cannot. That's always an amazing race… and the finish line is pretty special.

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