The way a team plays as a whole determines its success

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“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play well together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”- This is what legendary American Baseball player Babe Ruth on the importance of team effort. Coming from someone who was a quintessential team player and himself a luminous star in the firmament of illustrious baseball stars, his words do imply something quite significant. That is, the statement, “United we stand and Divided we fall.”, although a cliched one, would never lose its relevance as long as humans compete among themselves to make a mark in the world. Individual excellence is definitely a pre-requisite for personal success. But, we shun our individuality and cutting across different illusory barriers, come forward to form a team and work towards realizing a big goal. Individual capability is a major requisite, but not the sole one for the success of a team. Here, the extent of synergy and mutual value-addition which exists within the organization or team is as important as the individual capabilities. History is replete with examples which seem to convey the message that, while a bunch of highly capable and talented individuals fail together as a team due to lack of a collective effort, a team consisting of comparatively lesser talented members is a dazzling success owing to its cohesion in moving forward. The highly successful Manhattan Project (1942-1945) was conceived to build the fearsome atomic bomb and culminated in the annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’, the two end products which embodied the team work put in by a highly synergized group of over 130,000 scientists. Notwithstanding valid ethical concerns, this project has been one of the most successful scientific projects executed in the history of mankind. The scientist and engineers were working on a problem that no one knew how to solve. And yet, their co-ordinated efforts and constant quest for self improvement and success of the team paid off rich dividends.

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Team Members work in harmony to add different missing pieces of the jigsaw and solve the problem.

A successful enterprise can be best defined, not as a mere ‘Entrepreneurial Venture’, but as a ‘A group of motivated individuals working energetically in tandem.” This group comes to represent a well-oiled unit that delivers decisively. How well this well-oiled unit performs is decided by its level of motivation and the level of mutual understanding and co-operation which they can forge among themselves to emerge as a force to be reckoned with. Infact, the business environment changes like fickle weather and staying afloat or even progressing seamlessly towards a goal, in the midst of tumultuous times is a big challenge. Many small businesses have started, innovated and grown during the recession, given the fact that they have had little funds at hand in order to act as a buffer against any uncertainties. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard established Hewlett-Packard or HP during the Great Depression. Now, this, if analysed carefully, is a pointer to the fact that these enterprises have disregarded the prevailing economic scenario and have introduced timely and well thought innovations which have led to their ventures being successes or staying afloat, while others have been inexorably swept away by the incoming tide. This can’t solely be attributed to individual brilliance. Infact, the innovations and novel market strategies introduced in the workplace for the company’s betterment was the result of constructive efforts of the entire team. When confronted by a contingency, each member of a successful team quips in with a novel strategy and these are forged together into a winning formula. This contributes to increased productivity of a team.

Agglomeration of individual ingenuities and ideas in a team results in a winning formula

A perfect team is a collection of individuals who constantly seek to raise the bar for the team by dint of their own efforts. A healthy competition ensues within the team whereby each member wants to be at his/her best and help his/her team achieve a certain objective. Such competition does go a long way in improving the core-competence of the organization. In fact, each member of the team benefits gainfully from the valuable inputs offered by a colleague and this is how a company grows by dint of self-improvement brought about in the employees and the expertise of the team as a whole. Teams often consist of members who differ from one another in terms of skills or talents. An enterprise may consist of people from varied educational backgrounds. For example, an engineer could offer valuable technical solutions while a lawyer suggests ways to overcome legal hurdles which may come in the way of a project, all within the same team. Such a set of mutually exclusive skills within a team leads to mutually inclusive growth in the faculties of each team member, as well as contributes to the progress of the organization. Working together is a great opportunity to acquire skills that an employee never had beforehand. An example of this is the success of the cartoon enterprise Disney, which smashed all viewership record books with its much loved cartoon series. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks were resolute in their grand vision to create cartoon stars complete with their own franchises. That vision, in turn, attracted top talent — namely the nine animators who created and popularized iconic characters Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and Cinderella. Unlike working alone on a project, teamwork affords people the opportunity to challenge the ideas of each other and come up with a compromise solution that contributes to the successful completion of the task. Teamwork also increases the accountability of every member of the team. Team members do not want to let each other down and hence do their best to contribute to the successes of their teams.

Further, team work is a great asset when it comes to judicious load distribution among different members of the team. This greatly helps in reducing the burden on an individual, thus ensuring maximum productivity and prevents over-burdening. The assigned job can also be completed faster. In fact, it does lead to a great deal of heartburn when teamwork isn’t perfect and the workload distribution is inequitable. Such an imbalance can be detrimental to the health of the organization as maximum efficiency isn’t achieved and employee satisfaction is not optimum. But, an efficient manager, who is a perfect entrepreneur himself does find ways to circumvent this quandary. Assignment of work depending on capability, specialization and mutual understanding in the same is quite vital to ensure that the team works seamlessly. In fact, setting deadlines for the team and working in cohesion to achieve the same , is the mantra. The level of integration achieved in this way is commendable and ensures that the goal is met in the stipulated time period.

As Michael Jordan, the ace basketball player once remarked, “Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” This disproves the theory of talented individuals making their mark, solely by their own merit in a team and is a perfect testimonial for teamwork. In fact “Team work, works.”

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2 Comments

  1. SKR says:

    Good work intern

  2. Siddhant Jena says:

    Owsum writin….

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