Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Putting the I back in TEAM.


I've got a lot of respect for NHL'r Johnathn Toews. He's a bonified champion who's achieved the highest level of hockey excellence with Olympic Medals and Stanley Cup Victories by putting the TEAM 1st. What makes JT special, is his work ethic and humility. You won't likely hear of him calling a press conference to make a decision around his contract, you will not likely see him acting like a primadona with respect to his team &  coach nor will you see his play reflecting anything other than the end goal / greater good of the team. I think many amateur and professional sports players could borrow a page from JT's playbook. Further, I think many employees / employers could borrow a page from JT's leadership as this example can & should transcend sports.


We've entered an era where many put I & ME before the team. The ideology has become so commonplace, sometimes we're not even aware it's happening. We'll do one team oriented act over here, followed by 10 Me/I acts over there and think we're square. The reality is there is no I in any team that consistently demonstrates excellence. We've been witness to two fantastic examples through the recent NBA Finals and the FIFA World Cup. In both cases, the TEAM trumped the much hyped individuals (all respect to those individuals). More than less, it's how it's meant to be which is why we're drawn to TEAM movements. Here are 5 solid suggestions on how we can make sure we practice team.
  1. Stay humble. We all started somewhere, so don't forget that when, how and who helped you get to your place of success.
  2. Attitude of Gratitude. The sooner you abandon the mindset of 'when I'm going to get mine', the sooner and more bountiful, you'll likely get yours. Be grateful for what you have in the team your on. 
  3. Keep the perspective. Don't be the loser that has to be reminded of how / where and who helped you get your start. Could you do it on your own? Well, if you didn't start on your own, you haven't really done it on your own. 
  4. Pay it forward. The world doesn't need another know it all tool who takes for him/herself without consideration of paying it forward. Across all of our tribes, we were meant to be a team.
  5. Focus on the cause. That's right, the mission of the job, team, tribe, group, etc vs your own preconceptions. The greater effort you invest in the cause, the more visible you become, not vice versa.
All of the TEAM acronyms are true. The best memories are usually memories shared with others vs. a 1 on 1 with the self. Don't do solo. TEAM it up.

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