Why do teams exist? It is an interesting question posed by Pat Williams, author of Extreme Dreams Depend on Teams.
Answer: teams exist to enable people to work together and achieve high goals that would be out of reach for individuals working separately. Teamwork multiplies abilities and strengths. Teamwork enables individuals to complement one another and compensate for another’s lacks and weaknesses.
Whenever people come together to achieve a vision, their first priority must be to function as a team. In the first Rocky movie, Rocky Balboa describes his love interest in Adrian: “She fills gaps. She’s got gaps, I got gaps. Together we fill gaps.” That’s why we have teams. Teamwork fills gaps.
While watching the USA Women’s Soccer Team advance and win the World Cup this year, the power of the team became crystal clear. On the soccer field, there are players who have great ball skills and the ability to find the slimmest of lanes to put the ball in the net. Others are defensive specialists, using their speed and size to keep the opponent from scoring. There are players with great field vision, able to exploit the opponent’s defense with pinpoint passes that allow their teammates the opportunity to score. When we have the right mix of players, ones who are able to fill the gaps of their teammates, we have a successful team.
Let’s dedicate ourselves to identify and use our best skills to complement the others on our team. Let your chapter team know that you have gaps that you need their help in filling and offer your help in like fashion as they share the gaps they have discovered in themselves. Soccer great Mia Hamm said, “I don’t keep the ball out of the net on the other end of the field. I don’t plan game tactics. I don’t wash training gear, and I don’t make airline reservations. I am a member of a team, and I rely on that team. I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”
All of us have an essential role as part of our TOPS team to make our group the very best it can be. When the team wins, each member wins as well. Let’s fill the gaps!