Teamwork? I Don’t Need No Stinkin Teamwork!

Teamwork in Climbing

Yeah, okay. So you’re going to climb that ladder by yourself. You’re going to go it alone and be able to claim all the credit. You’re going to be the boss before your boss knows it. Excuse me a moment while I pick myself up off the floor.

Okay. Now lets get serious.

On Helping Others

Sir Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” In other words, you can’t even SEE the top of the ladder, let alone get there, without the help of others.

As a leader you must see that all of the ‘gears’ have to work together for the group to function as intended, so you get a quality product. You and all the rest of the members have to function as a cohesive unit from the onset of the team or the addition of new members.

Everyone understands the importance of their role.

On Hurting Others

People with hidden agendas make it very difficult for a team to perform. They want every action to help them move closer to accomplishing their goal.  Whether that’s one of your team members or YOU, if one looks bad, another looks good. A bad employee spoils the team.  You can’t change anyone’s attitude (except your own), but you can coach and counsel people to improve the behavior.

Check the Scoreboard

You need to keep on top of these attitudes because a quality team must have interdependence. I’ll give you a couple of good examples.  If you know anything about sports I think you’d agree that the seventh seeded 1980 U.S. Hockey Team (Gold Medal) and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10) were made up of quite different types of players.

One was a group of little-known amateur and collegiate players and a coach with a plan; the other of (mega)superstar professionals and a renowned team-oriented head coach (Phil Jackson). One was a significant underdog; the other was a dominant force all year. Despite these and other differences, however, both easily, are two of the greatest sports teams in American history.

The way these two groups of players melded together to reach their goals is inspiring, especially for people who value teamwork. Individually, none of them – even “His Airness” – could have accomplished what they did together. They needed each other to succeed.

As much as a team has to work together, there still has to be good leadership. It matters . . . a lot.  If the leader of a team doesn’t understand the power of teamwork, as Phil Jackson does, and isn’t prepared to lead the effort in terms of setting an example and dedicating time to it, then the chances of success are basically zip, zero, none, nada, zilch.

Improving Business With Teamwork

Some leaders, when they hear the “T” word, they think “touchy-feely” and “group fest.” When they finally realize that building a team is not like that at all, but rather an attempt to improve business, acceptance of the idea will come around. Team leaders can only overcome resistance among team members by overcoming their OWN resistance or fear of discomfort first.

You may have heard of a gentleman named Walt Disney. He started this little company that bears his name.

Walt said this:

 “I don’t propose to be an authority on anything at all.  I follow the opinions of ordinary people I meet, and I take pride in the close-knit teamwork of my organization.”

Here’s an entrepreneur that had specific visions of things he wanted to accomplish. There is NO WAY that The Walt Disney Company would be holding the top five vacation destinations in the world without teamwork and quality leaders to make it happen.

Achieving More

I’m sure you’ve heard the acronym T-E-A-M, right?  No, it doesn’t mean, together everyone annoys me. It means, Together Everyone Achieves More.

You’ve seen it on mugs, posters, pens, pencils, pins, notepads, buttons, screen savers, certificates, clocks, tote bags, key chains, calendars, travel mugs, etc, etc.  You may be sick of seeing it and hearing it, but truth of the matter is – it’s 100% correct.


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Andy Uskavitch
Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development at Florida Blood Services
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog |  (727) 568-5433

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