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!