Photo from Happy Trails Kennel
The road to success is paved in many ways -but teamwork is one of the most predominately important and hard to accomplish. To win takes courage, endurance, tenacity, resourcefulness, grit and a healthy dose of luck. All of these traits can play against teamwork... just as much as they are integral to it. So, when a team does succeed, it stands out. Stands tall. Shines.
Whethere the team is one made up of well bred and trained dogs or humans, the success they achieve is only through consistant, pre-learned traits: ingrained, if you will into their very being. Nothing comes between the team and the goal. This is what puts us in awe of real teamwork.
Martin Buser and Kathy Chapota are just such a team. Married, with 2 fine sons, and owners of Happy Trails Kennel, they exude the team spirit. Just like the athletic dogs they raise and race, Martin and Kathy can pull their own weight individually and know when to leave the lines to the other when necessity arises. They also possess one of the rarest of 'team traits', they inspire others to become part of the team. This is where the team goes into greatness.
I don't know Martin or Kathy beyond a brief 3-hour meeting with them both at their operations last October (2004) and what I read reported on them over the years. But what I have observed - from both sources - combined with observing people in all walks of life for 30+ professional years - tells me this couple is an exceptional blend of, 'All the right stuff.' When people speak of them, they speak with respect. Why? Because both have worked hard to earn the respect. Their actions - in the good times and the bad times - have shown they base themselves on a purpose and/or goal, far bigger than themselves. They constantly exemplify the confidence that only comes with knowing they have nothing to prove; don't need to prove; enjoy their life; and live that life fully, with respect and awareness of the responsibility they have in remaining but a small part in the greater scheme of life. This is what many refer to as humility. And being that they are so - they will be the first to deny anything special about them or what they do. This is one of the reasons they are so well liked -by so many.
This is what makes the Busers such great spokespersons for the Outdoor Heritage Activity they make their life: dog sledding. The Busers are professionals and they are responsible (unusual note for dropped dogs). They have shown themselves credible. They continue to exhibit integrity - no matter the conditions. A commodity of great price - rare and hard to maintain. Credibility, like honesty, integrity and loyalty ... is won through hard work and dependable responsibility. It takes a lifetime to develop; only a moment to loose .. and is even harder to keep. Yet, it is worth every ounce of effort.
One does not remain at the top of 'the game' (remember LIFE is the ultimate 'game' ) long unless you are doing something very right. 'Roman candle winnners' may be exciting to watch, but they are not whom you want to pattern your efforts upon. Just like in the investment business. A risky venture can bring you ruin just as likely - if not more so - than it can riches. Investment therefore, is best done for the 'long-haul' --with vision and determination to be around long enough to reap the benefits of your efforts. When dealing in the realm of teamwork and success - where people are involved - the stakes are even higher and the losses even more devastating.
We can all learn lessons from the teamwork shown between the dogs in a sled-dog team .. and the teamwork between the musher and his/her dogs. Honor. Respect. Loyalty. Trustworthiness. Dedication. Determination. Love. Obedience. When we find human TEAMS that teach us this, too ... we are wise to slip into their tracks and learn how they made them so solid; so easy to follow; so welcoming. We are even wiser to realize they will not last; that they are only templates for our own learning. Soon they will be gone. If we want to continue in such 'good track', we must learn how to make them ourselves. Once we do, then one day, we, too, will provide 'track' others can use as highways to learning as well.
That in the end is the real purpose of TEAMWORK ... Winning in order to Pass On the KNOWLEDGE of HOW and WHY working as a TEAM is important in the first place. This is the only way society will continue forward in a sustainable future. The ONLY Way.
Thank you Martin and Kathy for being you. It has already spoken volumes for itself. And it's encouraging to know - it continues on.