people2people are delighted to be sponsoring one of our local sports teams, The Wynnum Bugs! On a recent Saturday, I was lucky enough to catch a game and realised just how important team work is; not only within sport, but also business and life in general.
Looking back on the life lessons learnt through my sporting career, there are a few key ones which have helped shape my working life:
The age old saying – there is no ‘I’ in team
A team cannot be successful without everyone working together towards a common goal. Admittedly there will be the ‘stars’ of the team but everyone needs to be able to put the team ahead of themselves at some point. A successful team is made up of people who can think and act not just for their own personal interests but for the greater good of the team. As an individual within a team, success will not be achieved at a personal level, if the other members of the team aren’t striving for the same common outcome.
Understanding everyone is different with their own unique strengths
I am sure we can recall our parents, grandparents, aunties, or uncles telling us that everyone is different, and this is what makes the world go around. This has no greater relevance than in team situations, where the different skills, attributes, personalities and ideas of a range of individuals are combined to create a masterpiece. Specific tasks are handled by specific individuals who have the skillset to accomplish them and in an office environment, it is fundamental to draw upon various skills and ideas to achieve the desired results.
Invariably there will be times when someone within the team fails to pull their weight, or offends another with their viewpoint. However, life is never without conflict and being able to work through such issues on a daily basis, in an efficient and responsible manner; is an invaluable lesson. Working within a team on a regular basis will test any individual, it will potentially push them out of their comfort zone and it will challenge how they think, feel and react. But life is about learning and simple exercises such a working through a difference in opinions can help shape the people we are.
The importance of trust
A sports team I was involved with as a youth once challenged us, in pairs, to hike a mountain with one person blindfolded. This exercise placed so much trust upon the party guiding the ‘blindfolded’ individual that it quickly displayed how important trust is. If you can’t build and establish trust in each other, the team won’t work.