I know what you’re thinking…”Wait, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’!” No? Well, maybe not. But there is an “M” and an “E”…”ME”! Yes, I jest. Everywhere we go we find teams. It takes “a village” to raise our children (though where this village is at 2 am when my child is screaming at the top of his lungs, I have no idea). We and our co-workers have a common goal (and often common target of blame) in our jobs. Even our marriages are a partnership (he does his part and I let him – just kidding!).
In a society that so values individuality, why the emphasis on teamwork? Do CEOs really look at their employees as a mass production unit that should work as if they’re cogs in a machine? Seamlessly? Don’t squeak, don’t cause your neighbor to rust at all, and for heaven’s sake, don’t spark! Does God expect marriage partners to behave in this oneness as if the individual is lost? “Two shall become one”? What does that even mean?
Is there any place for the individual? Certainly. You, your story, your unique set of experiences, is valuable. To your children, to your friends, to society. I don’t know about your CEO, but your skill set is not found in just every other person. You have a certain set of strengths, and of challenges that you are working to overcome that make you the individual that you are. And, therefore, set your input apart.
Let’s talk about SYNERGY. What is Synergy? Let’s say I can lift 10 lbs. And you can lift 10lbs. Well, the law of synergy says that if we work together we can lift…I know you’re thinking 20lbs. But, it’s actually 30lbs. None of us is as brilliant as all of us are working together. In a team, we can brainstorm, bouncing ideas off each other, enhancing each other’s sparks until the best in all of us culminates into something really great. Can you picture it?
So, how do you participate in this team and exert your individuality? It’s a balance, just like with anything else. You have to realize that your successes don’t diminish with the success of others. That by helping others further themselves, you will not lessen yourself. Helping others will not sabotage you. You must let your own spark be seen, but you need to do your best to work well with others, too. To enhance their contributions as a member of the whole while interacting on an individual level with your own talents, gifts, and specialities.