Last year I sent out an email describing why sequoia redwood trees grow as much as 275 feet tall, 25 feet in diameter, and can live 2,500 years with such a shallow root system. The reason is that their root system is intertwined with the other redwood trees, literally holding each other up. So, beneath the surface of these humongous, tall, statuesque trees are roots like an army of men who have their arms interlocked, standing and supporting each other. They are preventing the adversaries of life from knocking each other down.
Then I started thinking about how humans have applied this technique. In Ancient Roman warfare, the testudo or tortoise formation was a type of shield wall formation commonly used by the Roman Legions during battles, particularly sieges. Testudo is the Latin word for “tortoise”.
In the testudo formation, the men would align their shields to form a packed formation covered with shields on the front and top. The first row of men, possibly excluding the men on the flanks, would hold their shields from about the height of their shins to their eyes, so as to cover the formation’s front. The shields would be held in such a way that they presented a shield wall to all sides. The men in the back ranks would place their shields over their heads to protect the formation from above, balancing the shields on their helmets, overlapping them. If necessary, the legionaries on the sides and rear of the formation could stand sideways or backwards with shields held as the front rows, so as to protect the formation’s sides and rear; this reduced the speed and mobility of the formation, but offered consistent defensive strength against opposing infantry and excellent protection against arrows and other missile attacks.
As with the sequoia redwood trees, I find this fascinating. Then I started thinking about how this technique could be applied to networking. What if we were all in some type of formation in a way where we could support each other? What if we banded together to help each other become stronger and achieve our personal and financial goals? Think of what we could achieve together.
What can I help you achieve?