Monthly Archives: August 2012

There is an “I” in TEAM

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford

Thought I’d begin my post with some words of wisdom from someone who had the personal skills and leadership to change the world.  How did he do it?  He worked and he learned.  He envisioned and he succeeded.

For us more ordinary mortals, who are not destined to make changes in the world that would make news, it is still possible to make a mark.  Nobody ever said the mark had to be really big but I believe it should matter.  Every team member’s effort matters because whatever it is, it affects the entire team.

I am a chronic autodidact. I want to learn stuff.  I suppose it came from my dad always telling me to look things up when I ask him questions. This learning style has enabled me to pick up skills in all sorts of things from crafts, cooking, gardening, computers, history, etc.  If I see something that perks my interest,  I want to learn it.  I mention this not because I want to talk about myself but because from learning comes personal skills.

To me, it doesn’t matter what the skill is – as long as you learn it the best you can.  I admire how the garbage collectors in Chinatown NY tackle their job.   Since the streets are tight, they just can’t park the truck and conveniently use the “claw” to pick up trash cans.  So they created a technique of collecting heavy bags with a certain choreography. (Discovery Channel: Dirty Jobs)

Nobody is born already having skills.  Maybe a predisposition to being good at certain things but certainly not skills.  Skills are not just important for self-improvement but also in teamwork.  Skills are assets. The good news is skills can be learned. Utilizing the tips for success such as organization, time management, reading, and communication will enable any individual to tackle any learning environment.

We’ve heard of the saying “There is no I in Team.” Well, in reality there is.  Every single “I” (individual) is crucial. In any group situation, everyone has to bring something to the table.  So if you don’t have skills, learn some.  If you have no suggestions, think of some. Don’t be the person who comes to the pot-luck bringing the plastic cups.

Dr. Haycock’s lecture on teamwork is very thorough and addressed every aspect of teamwork.  The best thing I learned from his lecture is the idea of bringing everything to the table.  If someone doesn’t know how to do something, be honest.  Either learn it or offer another skill that would help the team.  Establish ground rules.  Drop the attitudes.  Seems simple enough to rational people.

But, guess what – we are not always rational.  I have my cuckoo moments myself!  Being online, we don’t have the best opportunity to get to know one another.  So I suppose honesty is really important.  Like Dr. Haycock said, trust is crucial.  I think once trust is achieved through honesty, the team can work at keeping together to finish a common goal.

 dream team would have members who are honest, punctual and determined to produce work that is not just finished but done well.  Can we do it?  Of course, we can. Think Nike – just do it!

Back to the Blog

I’m ashamed that I left my blogs unattended all year.  But a lot has happened in the last 13 months.  The day after my last post, my coworker was murdered for reasons yet unknown.  His absence thrust me into a full-time position at work which left very little time to do anything else until I eased into my new responsibilities.  We have a very friendly atmosphere at work and thanks to the support, we all managed to smooth things out in due time.

Having just mentioned that I have less time, it seems curious that I would decide to go back to school.  But I did just that.  Two days ago I started my graduate degree in Library and Information Science at San José State University.  I have to do everything online, of course, since SJSU is in California and I live in Virginia.

Since I graduated from college in 1987, I haven’t gone to school formally, although I dabbled with different things and earned certificates in  medical transcription and  novel writing.  I worked as a substitute teacher for 7 years and I considered getting a teaching degree but the thought of teaching the same thing over and over again didn’t appeal to me.  I didn’t feel like going back and getting a refresher in Architecture but I know I wanted to get a master’s degree.

Getting a job as a library assistant set me on my educational path at last.  I’ve always loved libraries and I enjoy working at ECPI University.  The integration of technology with library science is just what I am looking for  my geek/nerd self.   It wasn’t easy at first.  Customer service is part of the job and we all know how that can be.

As time went by though, it felt very fulfilling to help people find information, and heartwarming to hear their gratitude.  So it wasn’t really hard to make the decision to make this a lifetime career choice.

It has been a year of changes and opportunities and I’ve been crossing out things on my bucket.  I finally plunked the money and went not only to Rome but all over Italy on a whirlwind pilgrimage to about a dozen and a half churches.  My precious dog nearly died but $7000 worth of emergency treatment on four different occasions saved her and she’s with me still.

It’s been a tough year but I have a lot to be thankful for.  And I’m looking forward.  I suppose that is my life’s motto:  Always look forward.

With that said, visitors on my blog can look forward to my musings on a more regular basis.  Till next time!