Teamwork making dreams work
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships"
- Michael Jordan
We learn at a young age what it means to work as a team, whether it was in gym class or collaborating on a classroom project. We learned about cooperation and compromise. We learned that some people are much better team players than others. We also learned who likes to assume leadership roles and who doesn't want to even be there in the first place. Most importantly, we learn where our sweet spot is individually while working as part of a team. We also learn how to function as part of a team.
I have been on some great teams and on teams that struggled while working toward a common goal. I have experienced success on the playing field and in an office setting. I have been on teams that did amazing things and ones where we fell flat on our faces. It's all part of working together. It can be beautiful, hectic, fun, exhausting, rewarding and messy, all on the same day! What I love most about working on teams is when everyone is on the same page, communicating effectively and effortlessly accomplishing what we set out to do. Everyone plays their part and stays in their lane. It's rare. But when it does happen, amazing results unfold!
I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life by working and playing on teams. I learned the importance of communication, trust, honesty and respect for every member of the team. I have seen my teams struggle because we lacked one or all of those traits, especially open and honest communication, which builds trust and commands respect. I have been on teams where infighting and drama were the norm. They lacked open and honest communication, along with trust and respect. The best teams were firing on all cylinders and getting stuff done because of great communication and trust.
There is no magic formula to creating great teams. It starts with great people. Every now and then there are team members who either want to disrupt the team flow or not put in the required effort. Good teams help improve or remove those people. Even the most talented and selfish teammates understand the importance of teamwork in order to achieve greatness. I know the phrase has become watered down and cliche, but teamwork really does make the dream work. It's a matter of everyone on the team understanding their role and doing their part to contribute to the team's success. It's all about teamwork.