teamwork

A team of excellent players who play in isolation will always lose to a team of good players who play united.

When players play for themselves, their ability is additive; when they play in unison, for eachother and for the team, their abilities mulitply.

A captain’s role is to eking out the best performance from every player through motivation and example.

The coach’s role is create harmony between them, through insightful, strategic planning and elegant design.

Teams which synergise and shine are always greater than the sum of their parts. The job of a leader is to realise that potential.

We’re at our best when we’re creating.

We create at our best when we’re connected.

We’re most connected when we surround ourselves with brilliant people who care.

And we attract those people by being brilliant ourselves.

Next time you’re wondering what to do, think about what you have to give.

Then give it.

Sometimes the most creative thing you can do is spark inspiration into others.

It’s not the kind of work you always get noticed or thanked for, but the impact potential of inspiring others far exceeds the potential impact of any work you could do in isolation.

1 + 1 doesn’t always equal 2 because humans magnify one another.

Surround yourself with people who magnify the change you seek to make in the world. Even more importantly, make sure that you’re doing the same for them.

My Jiu-Jitsu team, Legion 13, won the state championship last weekend for both the kids and adult competition.

In the week since, it’s been interesting to see how bound together everyone feels.

There’s a unity which shared success can generate which is infectious and highly motivating.

Like shared trauma, shared success brings people together.

Successful teams relish the relief of success together through shared pride. In order to be proud of the team’s achievements, one needs to be proud of themselves and also their teammates.

By definition, the team is larger than any one of the individuals which make it up. Great teams relate to one another as such.

The social benefit of this shared success compounds as the team does better and better; the more unified a team, the higher their chance is of succeding.

We have seen this in every era of every sport; mythical teams who found success and went on to seem undefeatable.

That’s all a bit grand for our local Jiu-Jitsu club, but the comradery and respect amongst team members this week has been a privilege to witness nonetheless.

If you’re not involved in some team activity, sporting or otherwise, it’s worth considering seeking out a tribe.

You might be surprised by how much can accomplished in unison with others.

Image via the Legion 13 Facebook page

If you can’t explain your idea to a five year old, you don’t understand it as well as you could.

Some say that those who can’t do, teach – and this might be true of some poor teachers.

What seems more likely to me is that those who can’t teach, can’t really do.

Perhaps they can perform in a vacuum, or regurgitate quotes and information they’ve been incentivised to memorise. But when it comes to passing the baton, they flounder.

True masters tend to be excellent teachers.

Why?

Because excellent teachers tend to be excellent students.

If follows that when playing any infinite game the teachers and the students come out on top.

Make a habit of breaking down the things you do and the things you think know into the tiniest details.

Fail to do so, and you might find yourself trapped in a cage of ideas too grand for your even your own comprehension. A sad place to be.

Become fluent in the language of that detail, and you’ll be able to share what you know with anyone.

We have a cognitive bias towards our own ideas, because we make them.

Partnering with people, or working in teams, is a step towards insuring against that bias.

That’s not to say your ideas aren’t good, you might just have a harder time picking the good ones from the bad ones than someone who doesn’t share your bias.

An even more compelling argument for teamwork is that finding good ideas requires a mass of bad ideas to be had and filtered through.

“The goal isn’t to get good ideas; the goal is to get bad ideas. Because once you get enough bad ideas, then some good ones have to show up.”

Seth Godin

If you’re working with a partner, the amount of ideas you generate doubles. This means you find the good ideas faster, and can work together to capitalise on them.

Don’t be afraid to make ruckus. Be honest when ideas are bad, especially when they’re your own. And commit to the good ones with everything you’ve got.

Imagine that every person in your workplace wanted to accomplish the same thing; that you were all motivated by the same clear objective.

And each day you all gave everything to see that objective accomplished.

No stalling. No work for work’s sake. No dodging responsibility.

Now snap back to reality and identify why that’s not the case.

How does your organisation motivate the people who define it to do great work?

Do they do a good enough job?

If not, tell them.

If they don’t like it, there’s never been an easier time to start something.

The best way to ensure that your organisation has your best interest at heart is to be your own organisation.