I once considered myself a loner, and even an outcast. The ridiculous thing is I hung out with a group of outcasts and loners. This was my gang, my posse, my squad or whatever the hip kids are calling it now a days. More importantly we were a team. We knew each others strengths and weaknesses and how to work around them. Were we saving the world or promoting a great cause? No, we were mainly just watching terrible movies and eating junk food, but we knew exactly how to make it happen.
In life we are a part of many different teams including family, co-workers, sports or other recreational activities, organizations, and church. Each team has various members with different skills and abilities. Your position in one team may be completely different than your position in a different team. In some teams one positions may hold more power than another like a work environment, then you have teams that should have more of an equal split like a marriage.
The above picture is not me or my family, but is a real look at what team work is all about. The roles of a family have changed over the years. Back in the Leave It To Beaver generation Dad worked and made the money and Mom cooked, cleaned and took care of the kids. In Modern days a lot of tasks are now shared. Often both parents work and split the house chores, sometimes roles are reversed. In 2014/15 I was out of work for about a year, God had a plan. I spoke about some it previously, but it involved my wife going back to work and me being a stay at home dad (not Mr. Mom). Not only did I have to adjust to my new role, I had to be comfortable with my teammate/wife taking on the role of bread winner. I’ll admit it did take some getting used to.
Another difficult situation is learning to still work with someone as a team when the original team has changed or dissolved. While my wife and I are separated and living in different houses we are still parents. Now this situations is different for every couple that goes through it, but we both have a responsibility to our children. Now luckily for the most part my wife and I get along, but even when we don’t we have to put those differences aside and work towards the best interest of the children. You might not always agree with everyone on your team, you may not even like some of them but often you have to put that aside to achieve mutual goals.
This often happens in the work place where two or more teammates don’t get along, and it usually causes problems for more than just those in disagreement. While sometimes we can choose to agree to disagree often we need to bury the hatchet and work together for best results. This is one of the rare occasions where in certain occasions the best option may be to replace a team member, unfortunately 99% of the time only the teammate with more power has the authority to do this. Sometimes this is necessary, but I feel it shouldn’t be the first option. It also has to be remembered that no matter what issues we have with a team mate the person replacing him or her could be worse.
At work and other groups there are often smaller teams within the team. I’m not talking about a clique of friends but a portion of the team that specializes in a certain area that benefits the greater team. The company may be able to run with one person missing from one of the inner teams, but completely remove one of those smaller groups and things will usually change drastically. It’s possible to keep running but the team dynamic will change and you have to plan accordingly.
One important team is the student mentor pairing. An example of this myself and my Pastor. Since I started attending his church he took me under his wing, but he didn’t limit his teachings to one area like religion. While he did teach me a lot about faith and the bible, he also imparted life wisdom and advice. He also taught me that roles can be reversed on the same team.
There are often times where I’ve been in situations he’s never encountered, or I know a little bit more about a topic then he does. What makes our team work so well is in these situations he doesn’t mind stepping back and letting me take the lead or asking advice on how something should be done. A team needs to be able to react to a situation and act accordingly.
There are often times as a team where one member is going to have to take a risk or make a decision without waiting to consult the team as a whole or the leader directly. While that person also needs to take responsibility for the possible fallout of his/her actions there has to be trust in the group so that every action doesn’t require a vote or a phone call to the leader. It is also the responsibility of the individual members not to abuse that trust.
If we work together we can grow together.