Practical Leadership

“We” Is More Powerful Than “I”

In any endeavor, teamwork is usually the key to success. Every organization functions as a team; we all need each other to be successful.

Photo credit: circletrack.com
Photo credit: circletrack.com

Whether your company is 5 or 5,000, there are teams of people who have to work together to get the job done. It is a rare task that a person accomplishes on his or her own. This is not to downplay individual achievement, far from it, but t

he idea that teamwork enables organizations to reach their goals.

Ever watch an interview with a NASCAR driver? From the outside, car racing looks like a solitary sport: a car and a driver and a track. The skill and courage of a single driver pitted against a field of drivers. But listen to that interview: the driver never uses the word “I” when referring to what happens on the track. “We were running pretty good through the whole first 50 laps,” or “we’re just trying to run our race,” et cetera…you get the idea. Drivers understand that although they may be the “face” of the racing team, it is the team that is important. Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon said it best when he said, “Teamwork is everything. It takes all of us working together. We win and lose together.”

In sports, and in business, highly performing teams are most often the reason organizations are successful.  Even superstars recognize they don’t get to the championship on their own.  Take 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel for example.  Watching Manziel play, it’s clear to even the novice football fan that he’s an incredibly gifted athlete.  It would be easy to credit Texas A&M’s success during the 2012 season to Manziel’s heroics on the field, but Manziel didn’t see it that way.  Standing on the national stage after becoming the first freshman ever to win one of college football’s most prestigious awards for individual achievement, he said,

“It’s such an honor to represent Texas A&M and my teammates here tonight, I wish they could be on the stage with me.”

The young man known as “Johnny Football” understood that he plays as part of a team, and that together the team is stronger than any one player.

 

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