Thursday, May 23, 2013

OPINION - Being On A Team

Being on a team can be one of the most rewarding and educational experiences in a person's life.  Especially as a kid.  Learning to respect and defend your teammates, working together towards a common goal and developing the joy and enthusiasm in victory and the grace and dignity in defeat.

It's an amazing sight to watch a group of kids develop these skills.  But I see these traits all over the place - as adults - in work, at play, with organizations and with friends.  Team skills are quite frankly one of the most important set of tools a person will develop - EVER....period.

I am very fortunate to have a tremendous team that I work alongside on a daily basis.  People that make me a better worker and a better person.  And I'd like to think (not that I want to toot my own horn) that I reciprocate that towards them.  I'm at a place now where I'm not asking myself "Where will be the next place that I work?"

I can't say enough about my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew along with the rest of my family.  They are a huge part of why I am me (good, bad or indifferent).

One of the other teams that I have been a part of for a number of years is the Condominium Board of Directors where I live.  Ever since I moved into my current place 8 years ago, I felt it important to volunteer some of my time to try and make where I live a better environment - do my part.

For many of those years, the challenges and struggles (some very difficult and pressing) were met with the best effort of the BOD.  I can confidently say that even though I was a bit of a "fish out of water" being a part of a Condo Board - I did my best, with only the best of intentions, and we worked well as a team.

Unfortunately (and I'm sure you saw this coming), the past year has been a blunt example of what happens when a team does not work together.  My tenure on the Board this past year (which renews every May) was a short one.  I resigned early on after a conflict with another member.

Infighting, arguing, loss of focus on the big picture all cost not just a number of Board Members, but the community I live in as a whole, a chance to continue to take steps forward into the new year.

To me, part of being on a team is the ability to show respect for your fellow teammates.  There is a certain level of basic, person-to-person respect that is expected on day one and the respect should grow based on the amount the other person earns it. 

Earning it by listening, sharing, helping, building - whatever can make the sum greater than the whole of each part added together.

Actions like ignorance, disinterest, name calling and bullying is not just detrimental to the team and the people on it, but also to the goals and aspirations that the team has.

I've been told that there are two things you can do to a bully - stand up and fight or turn and walk away.  There are many times when standing up and fighting is not only the right thing to do for yourself, but an inspiration to others in example.  There are however the occasions where it is best (for both the situation and the individual) to turn and walk away.

That's what I did.  No longer will I let the bully have any ounce of my time ever again.  No longer will I spend my energy dealing with this person.  No longer will I shoulder the burden and emotions of the words and actions this person displays.  I've concluded that he is who he is and I don't like it....and I don't want to be a part of it.

I have decided that it is time to find a new team.  Invest my spare time in people and events that can once again create that "moving forward".  I've missed that for the past year.

Your actions on a team create re-actions.  I'm ready to see more positive re-actions.

As an aside, I just finished watching ESPN's '30 for 30' on the 1983 NC State miracle Final Four run and incredible National Championship win.  Jim Valvano and his Wolfpack epitomizes what a team should be and what a team can achieve when they work together, when they respect one another and when they believe.  Survive And Advance.....if you have not seen it - do so.

1 comment:

  1. Sooner or later, life will catch up to the bully. Always has and always will.