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There is No 'I' in a Team
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There are certain activities in which an individual contribution can yield significant results, for instance, work culminating in an individual Nobel Prize award. However, for most of the modern day activities, an individual alone cannot make a significant impact. A group of individuals working together with a common goal, i.e. a team, can make seemingly impossible things happen. Petronas Towers in Malaysia is one such example of team work. Today, the necessity of team work is seen in virtually every work we do. The reason being pretty simple, a team in which “team members complement each others skills are able to deliver work of compelling value”.

When Harry S. Truman concluded the possibility to achieve anything provided it didn’t matter who got the credit, he summarized succinctly the nature of teamwork. There can be no ‘I’ in the team. Every individual is responsible and works for the collective good of the team. A team thus motivated can build the legendary bridge on the river Kwai under the harshest of circumstances.

Whatever impact individual excellence can make, it is detrimental in the long-run unless it helps the team in achieving its goal. The ideas of an individual are accepted or rejected according to its impact on the job involved. The individual learns to accept the recognition and rejection and finds the causes for the same from his team members. This helps in putting better efforts to rectify or improve the situation. Her productivity is improved resulting in overall development of the individual. Proper direction, growth prospects, motivation and support paves way for the attainment of individual goals. Work becomes less stressful in the positive environment provided by the team. Team work teaches to deal and communicate with other team members.

Normally a team is formed to achieve a task that an individual alone cannot achieve. The team requires high performing individuals, however, when individual goals take precedence over the team goals, the task at hand suffers. It is extremely important that each team member goes along with the team. There is no point in just the captain of the troop making to enemy territory without half of the troop. A weak troop can be easily wiped out, hence the importance of every individual in the team.

Team effort is essential for the company’s survival. A company has teams of specialized skills under its different functions. A company that has its Finance team disconnected from its production team and its sales team disconnected from the marketing is bound to fail in a spectacular fashion. Teams ensure direction of individual efforts towards organizational strategy. Better utilisation of managerial and technical expertise improves the wealth of the concern. Management, or getting things done through others becomes easier with smaller teams concentrating on the individual efforts. Time taken to complete a job is reduced drastically.

It is said that “life is only 10% of how you make it, and 90% of how you take it. So no matter how smart you are, there will always be someone who is wiser than you”. Teaming with the wise is a recipe for success.

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