Why Saying “There’s No I in Team” Doesn’t Help

“There’s absolutely no “I” in team.”

The above is a mantra that often gets repeated when it comes to participation. It means to say that teamwork isn’t about the individual player – but whenever it gets said, I’m the first person to differ.

It’s great in football movies, but I think that’s it.

If there’s no individuality as part of a team, why would you better yourself as part of the team at all? 

If there’s no “I” in team, how are people going to work on their own abilities as part of the whole? 

Removing the sense of self from a team of people means the entire group will stay the exact same they are now, with no free thought or space for it; something like the Stepford Wives crossed with the Terminator mixed with an Agatha Christie novel.

We have musicians like Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Beethoven because, even though they worked great within the team, they were also pretty damn individual while they were doing it. 

If you take out the “I” in team, bad playing can never be blamed on “I” – instead, it must be the team! 

You can’t always change how others in a team respond, play or think: What you can do is change yourself, better yourself and work on your own playing ability – or find another team where you’re a better fit.

That’s the “I” in team.

Seeing the I in team gives you something to work towards, something to better and when necessary, someone to blame. It makes for a better team when more power is given to individual thought that creates a stronger whole.

Removing the element of individuality from a team for “the greater good of the group” is what opens up room for eventual screwed up behavior blamed on camaraderie, or people looking the other way when they assume it’s for the greater good. (Read: Every damn war we’ve ever had as a species.) 

When you’re thinking of the team, remember to think of your own individual role as a player.

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