There is No “I” in Teamwork

Mother Teresa said: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things”

Have you ever worked with a co-worker who takes credit for the team’s job? It can be demoralizing to sit in a meeting and have one team member say that the success of the project was because of them. I have witnessed a team member point to themselves and say “I” or “my idea”. You could see the morale of the other team members wither.  

A team is made up of several individuals. Building an unstoppable team is challenging, egos, pride, and insecurities may prevent us from seeing where our true superpowers lie. Everyone has their strengths and abilities and can contribute to the success of a team because of those attributes. We should celebrate those individual traits and utilize them as resources. However, no one person can take credit for the success of a team. A true team member will put aside his/her need for individual praise and personal acclamation for the good of the team. Humility is a necessary trait required of all team members within the team to become a high-performing team.

My 12-year-old son recently wanted to do a team-building experiment with his church group. When he tried to explain his idea, we discussed having an object lesson and how each young man should be assigned one ingredient to a recipe. By itself one teaspoon of baking soda doesn’t seem significant, but left out of the chocolate chip recipe it will leave the cookies flat and thin. Each ingredient is necessary to make the finished product. Just like the ingredients in the cookie, each team member is necessary. Everyone has a role to play and it takes everyone working together to be successful.

Teams thrive when their purpose is fulfilling a shared vision that makes sense for the organization – not the manager. Being a team player means that each member is working for the good of the team, rather than individual goals. Successful leaders understand that their job is to make the team function. They understand that the “we” gets the credit, which creates trust and enables the team to get the task done.

A Team Player is someone who…

  • Understands their unique role and those of their team members.
  • Capitalizes on each other’s strengths to accomplish objectives.
  • Does not view themselves as more important than others.
  • Attributes equal value and weight to each members’ contributions.
  • Is respectful toward others, despite differing opinions and personalities.
  • Is reliable when they commit to get something done.
  • Do not sit idly by while others bear the brunt of the work.
  • Is ready to pitch in when another team member needs support.
  • Willingly shares their knowledge and expertise with others.
  • Views successes as a collective effort.

Review the list and identify any areas where you may need to grow. Our goal should be to help others achieve their highest potential. T.E.A.M = Together Everyone Achieves More.

Becoming a great team player will open you up to many new opportunities and a promising career path!

Mother Teresa said: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things”

March 8, 2021 by Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director