I played softball and basketball in 5th grade. It was 5th grade so it was the same girls for both teams. I wore the same red tee shirt with the #9 on the back for both sports. I was the second worst player on the team. That’s ok. I knew I was, and I was good with that. It was a team. I didn’t have to be the best, I just had to know what my role on the team was.
For softball, my position was WAY out in right field. This was 5th grade. The odds were that no 11 year old girl was going to hit the ball that far out to me. The coach relied on 1st and 2nd base to cover so that I was not a liability. But I was a part of the team. When basketball season rolled around, I played defense. This was back when it was half court for girls so I had to stop when the ball went over to our side. No fear of me trying to shoot and miss! But I also was great at taking a charge which meant sometimes I did have to go to the free throw line. That’s ok. It would give my team a chance to regroup and try to get the ball back. That was what I did for my team.
Our star was PeeWee. PeeWee was the best at EVERYTHING. We knew when PeeWee was up to bat, we would score. Get the ball to PeeWee on the court, we would score. That was her role on the team. Every team needs to have some one to take the lead. That’s how you win. But that is in sports. Is that true in the business world, too?
To a certain degree it is. Does that make that role more important than any other role on the team? When I was in radio sales, there were AE’s that thought they were the most important person. Let’s think about that. The AE brings on a new client, lands an annual and now what? Someone has to be responsible for scheduling the traffic or the commercials won’t air. Once the commercial airs, there has to be a bill generated for the client to pay. Now that the bill has gone out to the client, it needs to be received. When the bill gets paid by the client, what happens next? The payment has to be applied and sent to payroll. Payroll then has to figure out the taxes, insurance, commissions and then they can issue a paycheck to Super Star AE. That is a team. All players working together in unity.
Shada Wehbe with Potenialblog offers these 5 reasons about the importance of teamwork:
- Teamwork motivates unity in the workplace.
Individuals possess diverse talents, weaknesses, communication skills, strengths, and habits. Therefore, when a teamwork environment is not encouraged this can pose many challenges towards achieving the overall goals and objectives.
- Teamwork offers differing perspectives and feedback.
A proper team environment allows individuals to brainstorm collectively, which in turn increases their success to problem solve and arrive at solutions more efficiently and effectively.
- Teamwork provides improved efficiency and productivity.
It promotes a more efficient work output and are able to complete tasks faster due to many minds intertwined on the same goals and objectives of the business.
- Teamwork provides great learning opportunities.
Working in a team enables us to learn from one another’s mistakes. You are able to avoid future errors, gain insight from differing perspectives, and learn new concepts from more experienced colleagues.
- Teamwork promotes workplace synergy.
When team members are aware of their own responsibilities and roles, as well as the significance of their output being relied upon by the rest of their team, team members will be driven to share the same vision, values, and goals. The result creates a workplace environment based on fellowship, trust, support, respect, and cooperation.
I have no doubt that PeeWee went on to be a very successful adult. And I’d like to think that my experience on those two 5th grade teams taught me the importance of being a team player.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team."
-Phil Jackson, NBA Coach