The Great Marketing TEA Team Retreat
It finally happened! Marketing TEA held our first ever in-person team retreat down in our new home near Austin, TX, and it was even better than we had imagined. We’ve been planning a retreat for months and dreaming of one for years. As a completely remote company, we never have the chance to truly see each other outside of the typical Zoom meeting, and while we love the fact that we’re remote and that when we do meet, it’s all business, no lollygagging, every team that wants to pull together should have some time to bond and get creative together in person.
As such, I (Tyler here) thought I would take some time to tell you a few things we learned on our retreat and how we made it such a successful time together.
I love team bonding as much as the next guy, but we wanted to make sure that since we were all going to be together, we would get some seriously great work done too. I knew we’d get more and more fatigued as our retreat weekend went on, so, as a believer in delayed gratification, we made sure that our first day was focused on getting to the ‘hard stuff’ discussing all the big ideas we wanted to talk about.
It can be a little too easy in our line of work to fall into the routines of the day to day and forget that we need to solve our clients’ problems on a big scale, as well as solving our own problems! Right out of the gates, we established the list of things we wanted to accomplish. It came down to about 6-7 big topics of conversation where we could air some broad ideas about how to solve problems, what tools to develop, and what we wanted to do with our own brand as well.
Not only did we come up with a ton of great new ideas and distribute the leadership work on those ideas amongst ourselves, I think we all gained some new motivation for our work – at least I know that I did. I don’t think motivation is really an endless resource. Every now and then, you have to refresh it with great ideas and new energy, and that’s exactly what we did. For both the public and our clients in the midwifery space, prepare to see some excellent new work coming out of Marketing TEA.
Work mostly behind us, we embarked on the recreation of the weekend, and boy was I surprised by how cool and adventurous this team is, though they’ve proven that to me over and over again. We spent some time over at the jiu jitsu gym (a sport that Andrea and I are both passionate about) getting on the mats and learning a little bit of grappling. We hopped in the cold plunges (BRRRRRR) which was a real great way to wake up before we got into the work part of our team retreat, and we even jumped in the sauna later – just to really accomplish a nice Scandinavian-style retreat vibe. Did Texas-style outdoor activities, cooked out, and played games, especially a game of poker as I had made that our ‘theme’ for the retreat – Kenzie is a poker hustler by the way. And we all enjoyed playing with Ledger, Kenzie & Peter’s 11 month old baby – adorable. Things I learned about the team: Andrea plays a great host-mom to her guests, Andrew has widely fluctuating luck but an indomitable spirit, Peter is very competitive in a cold plunge (and is good at everything), Ledger does not want to take a nap, Kenzie hates candy but loves Pepsi and is thriving as a mother, and Lauren LOVES beans (send her bean memes) and is the photographer you want at your photoshoot. And me? Well, I worry too much about everything, but we decided my paranoia is probably a strength because I’m always thinking about our team, our clients, and everyone’s success.
Lessons were learned, poker chips were lost, creativity was accomplished, and Marketing TEA has gained new strengths as a team. As Ferris Bueller might say, this retreat was so choice – if you have the means to do one with your team, I highly recommend that you do.