There’s No “I” in “TEAM,” or is there?

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

“Michael, I need your help.  I need you to realize that there is no “I” in team,” said Phil Jackson to Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball player ever to live.  “Phil, that’s cool,” replied Jordan, “I just need you to understand there IS one in “WIN!”

–     An exchange between the new (at the time) coach and his superstar player shortly before they won six championships in seven years

The fact of the matter, of course, is that there are several “I’s” in “team.”  Eleven at a time in football.  Five at a time in basketball.  70 at a time with one of my clients.  Teams tend to be as strong as their weakest “I’s,” so giving each “I” an understanding of it’s place in the team is the responsibility of coaches and leaders in sport, business, family, etc.

The Toronto Raptors ended the Golden State Warriors streak of championships last night.  Kyle Lowry stepped up as a major “I” in the deciding game, yet Kawhi Leonard won the series Most Valuable Player award for being a dominant “I” across the six-game total body of work.

Yesterday, in a meeting I saw people named Tina, Courtney, Marc, Brian, Kip and Dustin all use their “I” to make the team more better.  And yes, “more better” is still a technical term.

Are there times that I’s have to set themselves back a bit to help the team win?  Of course.  Kawhi only had six points in the first 20 points of the game last night, while Lowry had nearly 20 points in the first 12 minutes.  Which is exactly what set up a reversal of impact later in the game.  So, while suppressing our “I” sometimes is called for, maximizing it in the context of the other “I’s” around us is what puts the “I’s” in team.

The leaders job is to draft and hire the right “I’s” so that 11 = more than 11.  So that 5 = more than 5.  So that 70 = more than 70.  So that outcomes = more than expectations.

In short, there are lots of “I’s” in “win.”  Each “I” has to come to work with that in mind.  Each “coach” has to build an environment where they come together for a greater good than if they went it alone.

In business.  In sport.  In life.  It’ll make a difference.

 


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.