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The Ultimate Team Building Experience

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Friends | Posted on 14-11-2007

Team building is an important part of work.  A lot of companies, ours included, promotes team building exercises.  This helps to build moral among the team and if other teams are included it helps to break down silos.  Currently I live in Hattiesburg, MS but I work remotely for a company in Michigan called Quicken Loans.  Being a remote team leader has its challenges, one of which is team building.  How do you do team building when you are 1,000 miles away?  This weekend we are doing what I think is going to be the ultimate team building exercise. 

A few months ago I was sitting around thinking what I could do as a team exercise.  The team is unique in the fact it is made up of all guys who all have similar personalities and are close to the same age.  Typically as long as there is fun and adult beverages involved they are happy.  The team members always kid me about living in South which I love.  I thought what better way to show them how the other half lives than invite them to come down for a weekend getaway fun trip and stay with The Elder?  That is what I did.  I put out the invitation and not surprisingly everyone on the team accepted.  We set a date when it worked for everyone, ordered plane tickets and made it happen.  Friday all of them are flying to Mississippi for a weekend in the South. 

What do you do with five guys from the North (4 michiganders, 1 canadian) in Hattiesburg, MS for a weekend?  Turns out there is a bunch of things depending on scheduling.  Friday night they will be landing at the local airport around 8:30 PM.  We have some great BBQ places in the area so I’m going to pickup some BBQ at a local place and we’ll have some BBQ on the deck when we get back to the house.  Of course you can’t have BBQ without a frosty adult beverage so I’ll be picking up a couple containers of some Mississippi brew from Lazy Magnolia brewing company.  After some BBQ and a tour around the home stead we’ll head to town to checkout the local scene.

Saturday we are loading up in the Aspen and heading to New Orleans, LA.  I’m not sure where we’ll eat lunch at but a local cajun place for sure.  I have to get the Michiganders and the Canadian some authentic gumbo, and other southern dishes to fill their bellies.  After that we’ll hit downtown New Orleans, Pat O’s, Hard Rock, etc.  Assuming we make it back from New Orleans in one piece on Saturday, Sunday we are going to eat at the best buffet in Mississippi and then head to the coast (about 60 miles from my house).  During downtime I’m sure we’ll fire up the XBox on the HDTV and try our hands at Guitar Hero II. 

All in all it is going to be a fun filled flavor of the South weekend with gorgeous 75-80 degree weather.  A quick note for the guys coming down, leave your LLBean jackets, shirts, and boots at home.  You won’t need ’em!

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