Whilst researching historic approaches to team-building, I have focused on real figures from the past. Although there are some historic figures that Robin Hood appears to be inspired by, the beloved outlaw in his Lincoln green tights belongs more to legend than to fact. The following document – which I discovered in the City of Nottingham archives – appears then to be an early draft of the Robin Hood story, as opposed to a factual document.
Regardless, it does reveal a rudimentary understanding of the importance of team-building (avant la lettre) amongs at least one medieval writer. The following account details how Robin Hood improvised a team-bonding event in his first week of leading his new band of rebels. [I have updated the language of this tale from medieval English to modern English for readability].
My First Victories
by Robin Hood
We did it!
Our first mission as a band of moral outlaws and we had liberated a chest from the Castle of Nottingham. We galloped deep into the forest, where the light doesn’t easily reach and where the ground is covered in toadstools. The dastardly Sheriff would never find us here.
With sweat falling from our brows and our hearts beating fast, we opened the chest. Inside were 11 pointy boots (different colours, quite worn), five ladies’ undergarments, five men’s undergarments, and a cod-piece (used).
In truth, it was disappointing. The men (and the fetching lass, Marion), who I had only met days before all seemed sad. I had to do something if I was not to lose their enthusiasm.
“Ye gads! We have stolen the very undergarments of the Lord & Lady Of Nottingham! If we can steal their very knickers, how easy their jewels will be!”
Friar Tuck nodded, “Tis true, tis true!”
“Now we feast!”, I cried out. Little John, cried out “Aye, a feast!”
We looked around and all we saw were mushrooms. Lots of mushrooms. Little John looked sad for he had a healthy appetite.”
“So many mushrooms! We will be full to the gills on nature’s bounty!”, I cried out. And very quickly I led them to do the following. It’s how I first started to build the team that many now write off, Robin Hood and His Band of Merry Men. This is how I did it:
1) We picked mushrooms.
2) We washed the mushrooms.
3) We ate the mushrooms. Maid Marion made a tea out of the mushrooms and drank the tea.