Is there an I in team after all? Initiative might just be that hidden I.


Today I would like to talk about teamwork and how a spirit of unity can create an environment of growth for all of those involved.  Having a great team around you will lift you up, but you don’t have to wait for one to pop up around you if you don’t have one already.

There is an old saying that there is no “I” in team, I personally believe this is completely false.  First, of course people are internally motivated, our motivation comes from desires that are unique and exist in all of us.  You are an individual, but you must recognize that you are not greater on your own then you are as a part of the team.  The weight of one piece of a machinery, cannot outweigh the entire machine; however, you are a part of the team and you must realise that you are a vital part of it.  Whether you choose to contribute nothing (this may make you more of a burden than an asset), or whether you choose  to take responsibility, you will affect your team.

You have to realize that being part of a team requires a certain level of responsibility from you as an individual.  Being on time, keeping commitments, holding each other accountable, communicating, self examination, and picking each other up are all important responsibilities of being on a great team.  A team spirit creates a true environment of synergy, which is to say that everyone involved works together in such a way that the sum of all parts has a much greater result.

Let’s see a practical example:  You and a training partner on your team start doing drilling and positional training together each day.  He has a very good x-guard, and a strong pressure passing game, he has strong submission defense, but has a hard time finishing submissions.  So he has 3 strengths, and one major weakness off hand.  That is 3-1=2 if you we look at it in a very objective way.  The other partner has a highly dangerous open guard, he has strong submissions especially from guard, he has excellent dynamic movement, but weak overall passing.  That is again 3-1=2.  So individually they have 4 net strengths between them.  Now if they start working together partner 1 challenges 2 with his x-guard, increase his guard recomposition by pressure passing, improves his submission finishes by defending submissions, and gets vital tips from partner 2 on finishing submissions more effectively.  Additionally partner 1 learns to defend submissions and sweeps from the open guard, improves his passing, learns to better tie up a dynamic opponent.  This is only the net benefit to one of the partners, but we can see just by adding his partner to the equation he has gained 8 new useful skills and experiences.  1+1=8 in this case, this is synergy at work.

Synergy is not a complicated concept, it just means that though you have value and responsibility as an individual on a team, the net impact you can make through a team is much greater than the impact you could make alone.  Not only will you make more impact on others, but they will also impact you and allow you to improve as well. If you can begin to see yourself as a vital component of the team, take pride in helping, and open yourself to learning in a true team environment then the sky becomes the limit for the growth that you can experience together.

It only takes the hard work of one person to change an environment, Ghandi is a perfect example.  If you don’t have the team you want, then start working on yourself, learn as much as you can every day, push others, help your teammates every time they ask you a question.  Begin by building up others, and they will be there to build you up later on.   “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

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