You might have heard and read a lot about the value of team, but some things you only understand when you experience it.
I had been very competitive in my childhood and always thought I should be the hero of the victory. The master of the situation and winner of all games. But this is hardly ever the case in real world.
Victory in the real world is made of various factors. Yes your own efforts do matter, but it takes support from a lot of people, who make you succeed.
You can see these examples at almost every phase of your life. Whether be at school, where your teachers, classmates or even the authors whose books you read help you succeed.
If you are fit and healthy, one of the reason behind it is that your family took care of you(from vaccination to healthy food). Being fit and healthy allows you to do a lot of things. So your family is has a role in every success that you have.
I didn’t recognize the efforts of all these people, till few years back. My college and professional life led me to realize all this and that is what I am going to share with you in this post.
What exactly is a team ?
For me teams are everywhere, it doesn’t need to be created formally or knowingly. Sometimes, we get into a team situation without even knowing it. You travel in a public transport you co-operate with everyone else. Let the driver drive and not poke into his eyes 😛 and do not shout in other’s ears. Jokes apart, but yes it is teamwork
Your friends, your family, your neighborhood, everything works great when it is a team and there is teamwork.
What makes a great team?
Great teams are formed of:
Trust : this is the first and foremost requirement to create a great team. You have to believe in others as well as you do in yourself.
Respect : By respect I mean that you should value your team members and treat them as you would want yourself to be treated. Selfish people very rarely make great team.
Honesty: Be honest to your team in every aspect. Do not try to cut corners or play smart in a team task. Put your best effort always.
Support: You trust them and also are honest with them, so show them your support when they need it the most.
Openness: Be open to giving and receiving feedback, to ideas which are different than yours. As a team you learn together and you have to be open, to learn from each other, to build a solid understanding.
Values : This one I realized after a couple of major incidents in my life. Matching of values is very important. If your values do not match your decisions will keep on conflicting with each other. Applies to every kind of team, whether it is the organization that you work for or your (potential)life partner. Make sure your values resonate with the other members of your team.
How team work has helped me in my life
Like I mentioned in the start of the post almost everything in life I can attribute to teamwork, but here I will mention few of the most significant teams I have been part of in my life.
I joined the same college as my childhood friend, which was in a different city.
Teamwork Instance 1:
It was a new city and we needed accommodation. Although college did provide hostel facilitates but I was very shy of paying the hostel charges(which according to my were exorbitant). My friend could have easily afforded it, but then he supported me. We went together to look for places to stay(which had to meet my maximum rent parameter), met a lot of people with whom we could share a place, finally found a place which satisfied all the conditions and where I spent 4 years of my life.
Teamwork Instance 2:
Instance 1 led to a lot of savings as I had thought(I did the math and it was more than 60% less than the yearly hostel cost). But daily commute to college was an issue, not only it took a good amount of time but it also was fully crowded like the one shown here.
With all the saving and my improved financial conditions at home allowed me to think of getting a bike(motor) for going to college, but I still didn’t have enough to buy entirely on my own. Again we teamed up, shared the price of the bike, bought a second hand bike. We trusted each other with the money. I had no issues of getting the bike transferred on my name, no fear that he will do something, for which I will have to pay. I had complete “trust” on him. This bike served us well and after college we sold it to get 60% of our investment back.
Other Teamwork Instances:
We used to cook food together and never thought like, “today I cooked so other would do the dishes”. We gave our best effort and tried to do as much as we can, it was kind of a competition between us as to who would do more work. This mostly ended up as we both dividing our work equally. We were honest with each other and never ducked away from effort.
There were many such instances of sharing and understanding, we shared books, helped each other in studies and in cases of medical emergency. I believe that my overall life was simplified by a factor of 2, just because I was part of a great team!
In your academic life you are usually a one man army. You have your assignments, tests and deadlines, which all are meant just for you. You handle each of the beast on your own, but when you enter the professional world things are quite different. No longer being a one man army is enough to handle the scale of things that you are dealing with.
This is how I realized how a team if helpful in achieving big tasks that you are not always capable of pulling off on your own:
Others fill in the gaps: You might be great in one aspect of your work and might be pathetic in another. Maybe it’s designing, marketing, finance or something else, it is usually not possible to do everything on your own and even if you do it somehow might not meet the quality standards. Being a web developer I realize this almost daily.
More people make the pie larger: As an individual your capability to earn becomes directly proportional to your time. Even if you see constant improvement in your financial status, there are good chances that you will hit a plateau. But with a team the possibilities become endless. Hardly you see individuals reaching the top 10 on the Forbes list, just on their own, usually it is a solid team that backs them.
Feedback: When you are solo, your vote wins every time. You might miss to look at things from different perspective. Learning might come at the expense of making mistakes first. But with a team you might have access to vast number of opinions, experiences and some of mistakes that you are going to make have been already made by someone on the team. You get to know how your thinking might give sub-optimal results in certain cases and how you might be overlooking something. Feedback is one of the great boons of being part of a team.
Fun: Even if we admit or not, I believe that our actions and decisions mostly revolve around people. We do most of the things to get acceptance from our circle of people. We get a sense of achievement when we hear of a word of praise from them. Even if you are an introvert and spend your days making game-play videos on YouTube, but what might be pushing you forward to do that daily might be the comments that you receive. So people form part of the “fun”. Being part of the team makes work less of a burden.
What I am trying to say here
Strive for being in company of people that you like. This will lead you to being in a constant state of happiness. Do not compromise and be in a team which you do enjoy to be a part of. If you are constantly surrounded by toxic people, whatever benefits that you are getting by being in their company might not be enough of a compensation for the happiness that you sacrifice by being with them. I have been part of various teams, some good and some not so good. I wish and hope that I continue to make wise decisions and be part of great teams, as life moves forward.
Be around people that make you want to be a better person, who make you feel good, make you laugh, and remind you what’s important in life. – Someone