You know the old saying “there is no I in team.” Trite but true. Sometimes as Americans, we focus so much on individual rights and freedoms that we forget that community and the common good are also important and vital to a healthy environment. And sometimes we think that we can do it all on our own—the self-made man/person myth. We either get burned out by trying to do it all or we isolate ourselves by thinking just in terms of what is best for us.
Now individual liberty and rights are important, don’t get me wrong. I guess what is important to remember that just as defending our individual rights is important it is also important to defend the individual rights of others. To use another well-used phrase—”your freedom to swing your fist ends at the other person’s nose’. Rights are not in isolation. They are meant to bring freedom for all, not just a few.
And in terms of projects, whether work, home, or elsewhere, doing things as a team lightens the load and multiplies the strengths of all to achieve results. Brainstorming, for instance, helps the creative process, since one person alone may not come up with the best solution to a problem. We learn from each other. And delegation helps to achieve success with less stress on individuals—”the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”—as the Greek philosopher Aristotle observed.
To be truly effective in teamwork we need effective leaders, not simply managers of course, But in this very competitive society, where we often focus on winners and losers, we need to exercise more cooperation and focus on teamwork, where everybody wins. Go Team!
Photo by Fizkes