Notes from the Newsroom: There is no ‘I’ in teamwork

Jesse O. Walls

In life there are many obstacles and challenges, hurdles that sometimes get in our way and discourage us. Sometimes we allow these hurdles to bring us down or make us bitter, causing us to lose sight of what truly matters. It is hard when you want to give up, but the nice thing about life is you don’t have to face it alone.

As head editor of the Crowder Sentry there are many lessons I have come to learn, but none more important than the value of teamwork.

Lately I have been in a funk and because of that I have been starting to lose sight of that initial vision that brought us together. My staff has never lost faith in me and my abilities, and it is truly because of them that the newspaper and the multimedia segments are as good as they are. It is not because I am a good leader, but because we are a good team.

I have often heard the quote, “there is no ‘I’ in teamwork”, but I had never really considered the meaning of those words until I had a team to work with. For those who have played on a sports team, like football or baseball, you realize your team is only as good as its weakest player. You sink or swim together, regardless of what position you play.

Now this doesn’t mean you should cut members, but rather work together to strengthen the team you have. No one person wins a game and no one person can do it alone. It is when you work together that you get the most accomplished.

To have a great team, you must ensure you have good communication, whether you are in charge or not. Also realize everyone is human and makes mistakes—no one is perfect. I feel sometimes we let our own egos get the better of us, thinking we could do so much better than someone else. If we would only put our faith and trust in others as we want them to do for us, we could avoid pointless conflicts and get more done.

Think about it. If we put faith in our team—see ourselves as one entity rather than a group of individuals—could we not get more accomplished? We win the game together, not alone, regardless of who hits the final home run that puts our team in the lead. So take the time to strengthen those connections, to celebrate your victories together and share the burdens of defeat. You may not always win, but it is better to lose as a team than lose because you could not work together.