People often attempt to engage the quest for success on their own, but the attempt to “go it alone” can be a catastrophic mistake. You may accomplish a lot on your own, but you will accomplish a good deal more if you are able to incorporate various teams into your journey. Success and happiness are enhanced by the proper applications of team principles and strategies.
Teams work. There is simply no way around that truth. They add value to every endeavor, and dramatically increase the likelihood of success. A team can improve the quality of work, increase the quantity of work, and also enhance personal enjoyment of work. The value and power of a team cannot be denied.
Prevalence of the Team Concept
The concept of a “team” has been around for a long time. It was around long before the word “team” was ever popularized. People have long recognized the advantage of working in groups, and of forming teams to accomplish great tasks. Even when people did not use the word “team,” the concept of teamwork was accepted and practiced as a regular part of life, work, and play. It has always been this way, and it will always be this way.
There is compelling evidence for the power of teams throughout history. Farmers have long yoked teams of oxen or horses together to more effectively till the ground. Rope makers will braid three strands into one to increase its strength exponentially. Ever since the very first war, armies have banded together in teams—under various other names—to defeat the enemy. While we don’t know exactly how the pyramids were build, an amazing engineering feat in any era, we do know that it is an astounding testament to the power of teams. Watch the movie 10,000 B.C. if you wish to see early teamwork in action. And although I wasn’t there, I imagine that little boys formed teams when they played kick the egg in the dinosaur plains.
The prevalence of the team concept can be traced to the beginning of time.
Team: A Universal Concept
The concept of team is not only historically prevalent, it is also widespread within nature. I suspect that it was around long before humans ever walked the earth—although I can’t say that I was there to confirm it.
Nature celebrates the power of a team. There are few examples of individualistic effort in nature. And in those few cases when an individualistic mentality prevails, it almost always makes life more difficult.
“A team can improve the quality of work, increase the quantity of work, and also enhance personal enjoyment of work.” (Gerald Paul – aka “G”)
The concept of the “lone wolf” is often romanticized and can be an excuse for some to take a “go it alone” attitude. “I’m a lone wolf,” someone will proudly say, as if that was a good thing. But that attitude completely misses the point of the analogy. The “lone wolf” is an oddity, it is an unusual and unnatural phenomenon, and it almost always ends badly for the so called “lone wolf.”
A wolf becomes a “lone wolf” when he strays from the pack to exert his own dominance, or to find a mate. When this happens one of two things will happen—in virtually every case. The “lone wolf” will either meet with death, or it will eventually realize its mistake and seek reinstatement in the pack. Wolves are dependent on the pack for their very survival.
Countless species depend on the concept of team for survival. The penguins of the Antarctica would not survive the cold harsh climate without each other. They depend on the group for warmth and protection as they huddle together on the cold Antarctic ice plains, struggling to produce the next generation. The buffalo of the grass plains will form a circle around their young to protect them from predators. Various types of fish will swim in tight schools in order to avoid and confuse the predators of the sea.
The list of examples giving credence to the power of a team in nature is endless. No matter where you look in nature, you will see the power of a team displayed. It is a concept that is ingrained in the very fabric of our existence, and into the dynamics of the universe.
A First Team Experience
On a more personal level, we can all point to a time when we were first introduced to the team concept. Your first experience may have been with a sports team, debate team, chess team, or any number of other possibilities.
I was first introduced to the concept of an organized team in grade seven, when my gym teacher selected me as one of several promising athletes to attend a volleyball camp. At the time I had never seen volleyball played, and I had no idea what it was all about. But it didn’t take long before I fell in love with the game, and I pursued team sports from that moment till the day I graduated—and beyond. Incidentally, my grade 12 volleyball team won provincials. That was a highlight of my high school years.
Team sports had a tremendous influence on me. Very likely they contributed to my ability to complete high school with my sanity in tact. I loved team sports and I learned a lot about myself, about working with others, and about leadership through my experiences on various teams.
G Strategies™ | Growth Strategies for Success™
People have long recognized the power of a team. This recognition of the power of a team can also be extended to the animal kingdom. The only question is, do “you” recognize the value and power of a team?
Do you believe that a team of people pulling together toward a common goal can achieve success? Can a team help you in your quest for success? My answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But your answer is what matters.
Ask yourself this very important question: “Am I trying to go through life and succeed by myself, or do I believe that success is more easily achieve by a team of people pulling together to meet common goals?” Your answer to this question and your willingness to form, or participate on, healthy functioning teams, could change your life and set you on the pathway to success.