A follow up to last week and the notion of the role of the individual in creating teams…read on…

Teamwork and team play and any combination or even stand alone usage of the T word has definitely become hackneyed in our world.

We have become cynically jaded, I suspect, because so often a “leader” dictates the usage of the phrase – if you will – as opposed to being organically developed by the group in question.

You know the scenario – almost Animal Farm like – all team members are equal but some team members are more equal than others – not a good start and certainly not consistent with the idea of the strength of the team being each individual member. However, to be fair, sometimes we fizzle out because we have a lack of support, across the board, for the idea of the team. In truth, I have always believed that we waste our time with process and procedure for team cohesiveness when, it sees to me, nothing more than intent is required.

Intent – a small word with big meaning and powerful consequences. A team flourishes or fails based in great part – maybe even solely – on its members desire to be a part of the whole. And, if you believe Coach Jackson (see last week) you as an individual will flourish as well.

All of which leads me to quote another major sports figure:

“Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work”
Vince Lombardi

Listen to what he says – “individual commitment” not group commitment; not leadership commitment – individual commitment. Powerful!

Add this to last weeks quote and it seems really clear, that teams are, in fact, about individuals; do in fact make us stronger and better as people – the proof being that only through individual intent and commitment can we ever hope to make a team work. Powerful!


Lots of interesting comments to share from last week. However, let me begin – Me Culpa!!!! Phil Jackson coached Shaq in Los Angeles not Miami!! As pointed out with a big OIY from Steve Zammarchi in New York and Ben Patock from Frankfurt

Daniel Morel shared the following (which inspired this weeks thought) “I like in particular the emphasis on “no Stars” and the various talents – and weaknesses – balancing each other across an entire team….I do completely believe with that team aspect and not because people talk about it but because it works the best and that has been the case for a very long time now”
Ben Patock – besides nailing my sports gaff had this to say – “he pointed out that in his last season in Los Angeles Phil Jackson and the owner of the Lakers assembled a team that had four stars in the staring five – yet they failed to win the championship loosing to an underdog team – he also cited the Greek soccer team at the Euro 2004 – “”if you fight as a team you will always have a chance to win against greater talents”
Rob Purnell cited the disciples of Jesus – “small group of men and women who changed the Roman world”
Hamish Grant shared a very interesting observation – he and Justin Thomas-Copeland went to see Liverpool play Man U at Anfield. They had seats up close to the action. What struck them was the chatter and eye contact between team members. “Simple Lesson “if you don’t tell the other guys what you are going to do, and they don’t know where you are, you will never get passed to and the rest of the team won’t know what is coming their way..”
Finally Edwin Goodgall wrote – “there is no I in team” to which I add – there is me – and if you don’t benefit from the team – there will be no team.
Keep those thoughts coming!!!

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