Home > January 2015 > Putting the “I” Back Into Teamwork

Putting the “I” Back Into Teamwork

January 8th, 2015

A recent story in Fortune magazine was entitled Teamwork! Secrets of Greatness. It started by suggesting all those posters and definitions of team players get dumped and that there is an “I” in teamwork.

The article argued that teamwork is an individual skill, implies a shared responsibility and that we cannot ever control the behavior of others, but only our own. Or in the words of Robert Frost: “Men work together, whether they work together or apart.”

But just putting together a number of people certainly doesn’t make a team. The best sports example is probably the 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which consisted of huge NBA stars with tens of millions of income who lost to the “no-name” team from Lithuania. Yet the 1980 U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets against all odds with players assembled by coach Herb Brooks that nobody had ever heard of. The movie Miracle has some great lessons on building teams, which started when the coaching staff refused to take the best college players. Said Brooks: “I’m not looking for the best players – I’m looking for the right players.”

Any team, social or safety committee, or even department (if the numbers are large enough) should include the special skills of every Color. We have very different strengths and contributions that others don’t share. If you want the group, meeting, fundraiser, or whatever to be a successful, it takes all four of our Colors! That’ll include the solo stars that get going, the team builders who assure everyone is included and on the same page. It’ll need the air traffic controllers that keep track of everybody and everything, and the people who actually think ahead before jumping or committing.

On our team:
Orange supplies the energy
Gold supplies the practicality
Blue provides the heart
Green provides the quality

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