The “I” in team was discovered recently. I am very happy about that.
(Of course you know the headline’s saying is just the other way round: “There is no “I” in Team!”.)
I fear, without the “I” there would be no team at all.
Every great team consists of distinctive personalities, with distinctive experiences, expertise, competencies.
Just think about an orchestra. Differing instruments, differing mentalities. Differing tasks. Without there would be no world-class music experience.
Or think about a soccer team. Differing mentalities, differing personalities, differing techniques. Without there would be no world-class soccer match experience.
Just in business people think all team members must think alike, behave alike. Hide their rough edges, their personalities, etc.
Without the “I” the team will never win, because:
– if all people think alike, nobody thinks very much (as I quote Walter Lippmann).
– if all people think alike and act alike there will be no creativity, innovation, and imagination – due to the lack of friction, because “It’s the Human Friction that Makes the Sparks”, as Jonah Lehrer puts it.
– if all people hide behind the team, you do need no team at all.
By observing the “I” carefully you envisage the elegance of the “I”‘s discovery: it’s a small “I”! Act accordingly when you are member of your next team experience.
Stay yourself, never betray your intuition, personality, character. Never play against the team. Move the whole team forward. Do not abandon the team. Inspire the team to become a group of great(er) personalities. Do not concentrate on just your own field of expertise. The opposite is needed in a great team.
Become – by that – much more than just the sum of the people in the room.