There is No “I” in Team, but There Is in Win

There is No "I" in Team, but There Is in Win

If you watch reality television, you may have seen Celebrity Fit Club. In season two, Gary Busey references the various acronyms, philosophies and sayings that he learned while in rehab and therapy. While I found most of them humorous, one stayed with me: T.E.A.M or together everyone achieves more. The acronym is not only memorable, but it sums up one of my core beliefs, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In sports, we hear that individuals score points, but teams win championships . . . or it takes the entire team to move the ball down the field, not just one player. All true. However, we also hear that there is no “I” in team. True? Not always.

Just because people work together does not mean that they are a team. True teams have team spirit. Team spirit occurs when each member cares about their team’s and teammate’s success. In professional sports, every team has excellent athletes who have the same equipment and training. Why do some teams fail while others succeed? Team spirit. On winning teams, everyone knows that their contribution is needed and valued. Members help each other to succeed. They put the success of the team above themselves. They give credit to others when things go well, but take full responsibility when they do not. In this instance, there is no “I” in team.

While there is no “I” in team, there is an “I” in win. Strong teams are composed of strong individuals. Excellent team performance is preceded by intense individual preparation. Only when individuals are ready to play at their best can the team win. In this case, there is an “I” in team. The “I” is about individual responsibility. Each member is responsible for contributing his best. They must continue to develop and grow to add value to the team. In return for making themselves better, they make the team better. It is as true for an offensive lineman working to protect the quarterback as it is for an inside salesperson working to build quality pipeline for his outside counterpart.

Always work like you mean it. It is inspiring to be around people who are committed to their work and who want to be there and get better. Stay committed to working like you mean it even when you see other people just showing up for a paycheck. Your work is your career. If you do not work hard, it can affect your livelihood. Every team is confident at the beginning of the year when their record is zero-zero. However, ten weeks into the season, teams start losing and players begin to give up. This is when injuries start to occur as well. People committed to the team and winning always give their best and never give up even when the odds are stacked against them.

All contents copyright © 2010, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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