I come from Australia, mate.
We say the word “mate” every three sentences and we’re big believers in the power of mateship. I think mateship goes beyond just Australia. I believe it’s an idea that has global significance.
The power of mateship only dawned on me recently.
I had a colleague at work who had been with the company 27 years and he was a mate. I also had a boss and mentor who inspired me and he was now a mate too. The three of us were surrounded by a broader team and we all considered ourselves mates.
Unfortunately, this A-Team has now been separated. Everyone has gone their separate ways. On the last day of the trio that started it all, I thought about what the secret sauce was to our success. Why we had changed an entire country and disrupted so many industries.
The answer to it all was this: MATESHIP.
We couldn’t do it alone.
By ourselves, we were average Joes with the occasional good idea. Together we were one and had this weird state of flow that could only be harnessed when we combined ourselves, our thoughts and our minds.
“Group flow became the foundation of everything we believed in and achieved over the last few years”
Each of us had our own superpower. My bosses were being autocratic and visionary.
My colleague David’s was coming up with crazy, out there ideas and selling the dream before we had any idea what was even possible. Mine was productivity and execution. The three of us shared another skill and that was the ability to build strong relationships.
Alone, these skills were useless; combined, these skills created a bond that became a powerhouse of success and mateship.
What is Mateship?
To me, it’s the sole reason I stayed in a job for three years rather than move around, seek more money or start my own business.
By making a real bond with a group of people, you end up coming to a point where you’ll do anything for them. If their mum dies, then you attend the funeral. If they have a baby, then you celebrate with them. If you have some nuts or dark chocolate, then you share it with your mates.
Mateship is the philosophy that what’s mine is yours.
Mateship is shared wisdom.
Mateship is group execution.
Mateship is shared consciousness and states of flow.
Mateship is where many people become one.
Mateship is how we solve difficult problems.
The world needs mateship because without it, we can’t solve difficult problems. Through mateship, we’re more likely to listen to each other and combine different points of view to solve hard problems.
The key to mateship is that you trust each other. Trust can allow us to do so much more – like build rockets that go to Mars.
“Many of us are trying to solve the same problems in isolation”
Imagine if we combined our skills and common interests through mateship and strived to achieve the impossible in our respective fields.
We could solve so many of the world’s most challenging problems such as poverty, diseases like aids and cancer, exploration of space, and uniting the different races rather than embracing war and violence as temporary band-aid solutions that lead to deep wounds later on.
My team at work have achieved so much not because we have Ph.D.’s, loads of cash, natural ability, high IQ or access to valuable resources: we’ve done what we’ve done because of mateship.
Even now that me and my mates have gone our separate ways, our mateship endures. We call each other still even though we’re in different companies. We still share ideas and contacts. We feed each other business. We feed each other spiritually. We sometimes even feed each other over a great bottle of wine.
Before it all came to an end, as mates, we decided to cement our mateship. We agreed on one trip a year to a destination that we would all go to. No matter what, we knew that our mateship couldn’t be broken.
We will always be there for one another because we’ve figured out individually that “We” is more powerful than “I.”
And finally, “The Mateship Code.”
Mateship only works if you worship the following:
1. You must trust each other
2. You must be able to take the p*ss out of each other
3. You must collaborate
4. You must be okay with challenging and even arguing with each other
5. And, you must respect each other no matter what
Now go use the power of mateship to solve an interesting problem and have fun at the same time.
The world needs more mateship.