The old sports adage “There is no “I” in Team” has been bellowed by many a coach over the years, to instil in his players, that if you are motivated by achieving personal goals and are selfish, will be a detriment to the overall success of the team. There are a number of ways that a team can be formed and they are not all related to sports. There are management teams, sales teams, service teams, list goes on and on. Teams are formed to take a group of people with a common purpose and coordinate their individual skills sets to compliment the strengths, and minimize the weaknesses, of the group to reach the overall goal and thus be successful. So when the visionary, or joker, team member discovered that there was in fact an “I” in the WORD team, hidden in the A (if you get creative), they were no doubt trying to throw sarcasm in the face of their “Coach”, “Mentor”, or “Team Leader”, by saying that “there is an I, and my goals are important too.” Though it may have been said with sarcastic intent, it was in fact, quite accurate in my opinion. The team’s overall success actually hinges on the ability of each individual to set personal goals for him, or herself that make the individual more productive and compliment the group as a whole.
On a sports team, not all players share the same physical size, the same skill set, or the same level of understanding of the game (game sense if you will). This also holds true in the business world where a group of individuals form a team within the company to achieve a common goal. Where the sports team‘s goal may be to win championships, the businesses goal may be to become more efficient, profitable, or obtain a higher level of customer service. This brings to mind another old adage “The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts”, which again, does not diminish the importance of each individual’s role, but reminds us that as a team we are stronger, more productive and therefore stand a better chance of success. So the next time you hear the words cried out “There is no “I” in Team” you, and every member of your team, can quietly say to one another “ I am in this team, and I will do my best to help, and not hinder, our team in achieving all of our goals”.
Director of Business Development