Helen Green

Leadership for Life

We talk about leadership being a journey, about the importance of teamwork in order to create strong bonds which deliver lasting solutions; but there are some times when this leadership and teamwork imperative takes on an entirely new meaning.

In the majority of companies, if the leadership is failing you may look to coach improvement or, in the worst case scenario, source an alternative leader. In the majority of teams, if there is a discordant note then it is comparatively simple to work on team-building techniques or to organise an internal reshuffle. But what if that leadership and that team are facing problems whilst cooped up in a small capsule on its way from Earth to Mars? What do you do when replacing the leader or reshuffling the team is simply not an option?

That’s the reality which is starting to bite for the remaining applicants for the Mars One program. The selection process is down to the last 100 and according to a Mars One press release on 6 June this is the first time that candidates will meet in person and demonstrate their capabilities as a team.

A series of challenges over five days is designed to “test the candidates’ ability to work in a team within limited conditions, interdependency, trust, their problem-solving and creativity skills, their thoroughness and precision, and their clarity and relevance of communication.” At the end of the time, just forty candidates will be left to carry on to the next stage in the process.

As businesses, our selection processes may not generally be such a matter of life and death but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the importance part which teamwork, interdependency and leadership plays in delivering success.