Whether you know it or not, most of us, if not all of us are part of a team of some kind. It could be at work, at school, or at home with our family, must of us are all part of some sort of team. I have found that when I work as part of a team, or working on a project that is bigger than just me, I find that I am more productive. Being part of a team helps people feel valued, and many times can help people achieve more. A person can feel a sense of responsibility as being part of a team, and not want to let other members of the team down. It reminded me of a fable about the importance of team work, and what can be achieved by a unit.
A man became lost while driving through the country. As he tried to read a map, he accidently drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn’t injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. Seeing a farmhouse just down the road, the man walked over to ask for help.
“Warwick can get you out of the ditch,” the farmer said pointing to an old mule standing the field. The man looked back at the farmer, who just stood there nodding. “Yep Old Warwick can do the job.” The man figured he had nothing to lose, so the two men and Warwick made their way back to the ditch. After the man hitched the old mule to the car, he snapped the reins and shouted, “Pull Fred! Pull Jack! Pull Ted! Pull Warwick!” With very little effort, the lone mule pulled the car from the ditch. The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, “Why did you call out all those other names before you called Warwick?” the farmer grinned and said, “Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he is part of a team, he doesn’t mind pulling.
In this example, Warwick thinks he is part of a larger team and he senses that he is part of something bigger than just him. He doesn’t want to let the other members of the team down so he works harder than he would if it was just him.
At work, at home, or with your family, being a part of a team and using teamwork will help all of us achieve more.
~Sean Hogan has coached hockey at the international and collegiate levels for over ten years. He has spoken at numerous events about culture building, goal setting and healthy lifestyles. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Recreation and Sports Science with an emphasis on Coaching Education from OHIO University.