Image courtesy of: Luz Adriana Villa A.
If your team is filled with people who work for the company, you’ll soon be defeated by tribes of people who work for a cause.
- By Seth Godin from: The Icarus Deception: how high will you fly?
One of the favorite terms of the Industrial Age has been “teamwork.” The word is heavily touted when the slave drivers or gatekeepers want more work from less people or pitch an idea. Teamwork is a requirement on the football field, marching band and battlefield; but it never scaled well with the general workforce.
Ever notice when you are about to be laid-off “teamwork” is never mentioned? If they really believed in their own submission then why not just ask if someone wants to take an unemployment check for the good of the team. After all, we’re a team, right?
Sadly, it is a word used only when management wants to spin the latest, greatest technique or philosophy. When I think of teamwork it reminds me of “slaves that paddled vessels from sea to land”, a mindless entity that must be given simple instructions to navigate. It also reminds me of the project that keeps being held-up because someone or one group didn’t finish their assignment at the deadline.
Teamwork is a label for mediocrity. Innovation or precision is rarely used to motivate by inept leaders. Failure is easier to swallow, when it’s a team effort or detraction. It’s good enough to use as a drill or exercise, but difficult to ensure has a means to excellence. That would require guts, courage and accountability.
Few leaders understand the significance of those words and are less willing to take the chance at standing-out from the pack. That would truly mean risk and in a society captivated by fitting-in, not many care enough to stick their neck out. That’s probably why people don’t get too excited by teamwork.
I am happy to not apply for an advertisement that states: “We want team players only” or hear someone say: “I am not sure if you’re a good fit for the team” during an interview. What those expressions imply is the Industrial Age notion of fitting-in, compliancy, not rocking the boat and “do what we say.” You have no mind, soul, heart or the capabilities to stand-out, lead or discover a better way. It sends the message of being a cog and nothing more.
When everyone is committed towards the same outcome because they believe in something, have a vested interest in the idea and care; it’s a beautiful process. When people are told or given a manual to follow the plan it’s boring, repetitive and the results are less than stellar!
For more than 100 years, we believed ourselves to be at the mercy of a few who gave us the instructions, used us like pawns to generate power and financial success. The game is changing rapidly and opportunity awaits you. But you’ll never find it by staying in the Industrial Age.
Like the advert says: “You are now free to walk about the cabin.”
Until We Meet Again,
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!
Something Meaningful that Matters!
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