The Trivial Thing Called Teamwork


When I saw my 2 daughters stacking up their Lego bricks, working together, trying to build a tower taller than me (i am about 186cm tall). One balancing on a stool trying to reach higher and the other feeding her bricks for her cause, made me smile yet pondered.

Such a simple concept that we all learn as kids, fostered through school, put into practice at work and our professional careers. You would think that the idea of working as a team will be ingrained in all of us.

I do understand that a difference in personality and opinion exists, yet it is hilarious to witness grown men arguing, slugging it out and behaving like kids when it comes to this. It is amazing that even the smartest and brightest fall prey to the trivial notion of teamwork. We are so caught up with our clout of competitiveness, ego and know-it-all attitude that we think that we can take it on alone. Not to generalise, while I have seen individual heroic efforts carry a team forward, more often than not I have seen consistently better performance when everyone put their agendas aside and work together.

Here's a few key points around this. Again, just incase all of us needs a reminder.

1. Outcome - Focus on the end game. We all work together to get somewhere or something, so that in itself is key. So do anything and everything that will get us closer to the end.

2. Accountability - Cliche as it sounds, there is no 'I' in team. So likewise when we lose, we lose together. Accountability is on everyone, not because "you screwed up, so it is your fault".

3. Heros and Egos - Heroics and ego have little place in teams. If you are the smartest in the bunch, use your ability to drive and bring out the best in others. Leaving your team in the dust, while you bask in your own heroics, scores you a guaranteed invite to the "nobody likes you club".

I'll leave you with a quote about teamwork that have resonated with me through the years.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships - Michael Jordan