Confession: I fully believe in the power of teamwork.
I have belonged to several teams. Some within the same system. I work retail with Family Christians Stores. For years I knew those who worked the job with me as co-workers. After moving to a different store, it felt more like a small family. And then moving to a third store I found my niche as a strong team member. I also played on a club frisbee team while at Ohio Valley University. While on that team, I learned my specific role – I knew the gifts I had and the weaknesses I possessed. And I knew the strengths and weaknesses of the other players too. I love playing Role Playing Games because 1) I love a good story and 2) I love crafting a team where individuals bring strengths to cover the weaknesses of other members of the team.
I have seen poor teamwork and great teamwork. Bad teamwork is not helped with success – I have won games where the chemistry of the team was harmful and the win did not make me feel better. It just made me feel bitter winning along people I did not get along with. Great teamwork is something that has left me satisfied, even in the midst of defeat. And through the losses and victories, I have learned something: I love being a part of a good team – even more than I love individual success.
I love winning – don’t get me wrong – but losing beside people whom you love and respect and who have worked hard makes a loss still feel okay. But let me share why I think teamwork is a good thing, even for the loners and soloists out there.
First, you can almost always reach higher when surrounded by a good team. While you may be a very gifted individual, your success can be even greater when surrounded by people with different skill sets and minds than yours.
Second, your talents increase the individual results of your teammates. While by yourself you may be good, and by themselves they be good, together you all can be even better. Selfishly, you may like having a team boost your work. But selflessly, you can boost other people.
Third, you can be a part of team no matter where you go. This is twofold. Thanks to the internet, there are numerous ways to stay in touch with teammates. Whether from a club, a sport, a work place, or just a group of friends that loved doing things together, you can stay in touch and feel a part of something bigger than yourself even when you have to leave those teammates. on the other side, you have the ability to find new teammates wherever you go. This may mean learning new skills, meeting totally different sort of people, or a combination of both. Regardless, moving to a new environment does not mean you stop being a team player; rather, it means you are granted to opportunity of entering a new team.
A dragon can be a fierce and intimidating creature. A herd of dragons can be a sight of awe and beauty. That’s what you can experience when you act as a team player. It may mean you sacrifice some of the spotlight. It may mean you take a hit for someone when you know you have a better ability of suffering through that hit than they do. Teamwork is not always easy or fun – but it is rewarding and can bring out the best in people. Be a part of that beautiful and awe filled team of dragons.
May your herd of dragons treat you kindly, and may the opposing dragons you face this week be defeated. Peace to you.