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Fundamental #13: Be A Team Player

Fundamental #13: Be a Team Player


The 30 Fundamentals that make up the “ConnectSMART Way” describe how we want to run our business – the way we treat our clients, the way we work with each other, and even the way we relate to our vendors and suppliers.  They’re who we are and they’re the foundation of our success.  They drive everything we do, every day. Each week we focus on a different fundamental and discuss in depth.

Fundamental #13: Be a Team Player

We each play important roles in the interdependent chain of events required to deliver for our customers. Look for opportunities to assist each other. Position the next person in the chain for success by anticipating their needs and producing quality work. We win and lose as a team.

As I’ve been thinking about teams and teamFundamentals players, it made me think about the annual Superbowl.  Two amazing teams, yet only one winner.  What is the difference between the winning team and the losing team? We have all heard about how there is no “I” in team, yet a team is not some amorphous entity. It also not a collection of superstars.  However without excellent individuals you will still lose.

So how do we balance the “I” in team? It is easy when your team loses to recognize that we ‘fought hard as a team’.  “Win as a team / lose as a team” is often a justification for losing. When you win how much do you actually attribute to the team versus yourself? I’m not talking about what you would actually admit in public or in an interview, but in your own heart.  Even Michael Jordan couldn’t win a game completely on his own, (and neither you or I are MJ!)

FundamentalsI am not denigrating the team at all, but there is an important element to this fundamental which is to be a team PLAYER. A team made up of losers still loses, a collection of superstars can still lose to a solid team of good players.  So you don’t have to be a superstar, but you do have to be a winning individual who is dedicated to the team. It is all about allowing the team to shine. The “I” has to be hidden in the team, but there is no team without “ME”.  Just like I was talking about in fundamental #12 to work on yourself.  You can’t work on the team, you can only work on yourself and your place in the team. That is what makes the team, strong individuals with the same purpose working together toward the same goal. You don’t hide in the team or let the team carry you, but as each team member does their best to make the rest of the team look good and succeed, the whole team succeeds. You don’t lower your standards or hold back to make others look better in comparison to you but by each one giving their best the whole team succeeds.

A friend of mine is a security expert. His years as a captain in the French Marines, then Inspector in  the Intelligence Service, and finally running a private security company for 25 years has given him unique insights that most of us never have. I have always been pretty confident with my own personal security planning but he made me think about it quite differently. With all of his military training, experience and firepower that he has available to him he knows that he can only withstand three to five armed aggressors. And that is only if they do not have proper training.  Quite different from the movies! Each additional team member who works together more than doubles the odds of survival.  I think the Navy SEALs have proven this better than anyone.  It’s not just the “big game” on the line but lives. If you have ever watched any of the documentaries on BUDs training it is evident how much the team matters. Made up of the best of the best – yet many times the ones ringing the bell to quit are not the ones you would expect.  It is impossible for even the strongest individual to pass alone. A SEAL team exemplifies to me the perfect team. Each individual reaches the peak of mental, and physical strength in themselves yet realize that by themselves they cannot succeed.  Only the team can succeed.

So don’t try to be the superstar on your own to the detriment of the team, and don’t hide behind the team. Let’s be a team of superstars!

Best Regards



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