Thursday, November 15, 2012

One Common Goal!

There is a trick to becoming a high-level team. The trick is that all the members of the team are on the same page. In sports, we have seen how defense, offense, slow-paced, up-tempo, and all kinds of systems have had success. The one thing they have in common, though, is that all the members have “bought into" whatever system is being used.  Although "bought in" is a phrase that is thrown around all the time in sports and business, it cannot be overvalued.
People by nature are very egocentric. We often feel like everyone is crazy but us or that we are more important than the people around us. Case-in-point: the jerks who park in two parking spots because clearly their vehicles are more important than everyone else’s! The problem is that this egocentric attitude is death to a team. The whole essence of any team, in business or sports or in our personal lives, is that the entire team is driving towards the same goal. They are hell-bent on achieving something and they all have "bought into" the same plan on how to get there. As cliché as it sounds, it's true: the whole is bigger and better than the sum of its parts! 
It is not important that somebody in the group might have some revolutionary idea because, if it leads to a small faction of the team veering off and adhering to this particular tangent without the rest of the group, then the whole team breaks down. It does not matter that this idea or system may be “better” than the one that is currently being implemented. What matters is that you have a group of people acting together to get the job at hand done. This does not imply that implementing a new system may not improve the overall success. There have been countless innovations that have helped teams and businesses and, hopefully, individuals on the team with good ideas are listened to, but, unless the plan is implemented from the top down and rolled out to the group as a unit, the independent operators on the team following their own ideas will have a negative impact on the success of the team as a whole.
If you are a part of a team and you feel that the system being implemented is not the “right” one and you can't introduce your ideas without fracturing the team, then perhaps you should remove yourself from that organization. Perhaps you actually are smarter or better than the people running the team or company. If you feel that is the case, then you are being a disservice to yourself and to the team to stay.  Either get on board, "buy in," or jump ship, those are the options. Perhaps you can assemble your own group whose members will then "buy into" your ideas and you can start your own team.
There are indeed, however, some people who are simply not team players. These people will struggle in almost every aspect of being on a team.  It may be unfortunate because team success is such a rewarding shared experience and almost everyone benefits from the experience. There is a place for non-team folks like this and we see evidence of their contributions all around us, but the background of succeeding as a team can be a highlight to anyone's life.  And a "team" can be found in some many aspects of our lives: a family, a sports group, a company, a school, a group dedicated to a cause, or any of numerous other collections of people. The one thing they all have in common is that they have a goal, they all want to get to it, and they want to get to it together. Look at the various "teams" that you are on. Are all the members clear about the team's goals? Is everyone convinced of the effectiveness of the team's plans? Does everyone feel more connected, more useful, and more invigorated by being part of the team? If your teams do not resemble this, perhaps a change needs to happen. That change may be you.

~ Yoshia

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