The quote “Teamwork makes the dream work” has popped up quite a few times for me this week. It seemed as if the universe was trying to tell me something after my rant about bad customer service. Clearly, my restaurant experience would have improved with a bit of teamwork.
Let’s look at teamwork in sports, soccer specifically. A soccer team is composed of 11 players: ten outfielders and a goalkeeper. The outfielders are not restricted from moving anywhere on the field, but they each have a specific role, either as a defender, a midfielder, or a forward. Their jobs are simple: score and prevent the other team from scoring. For example, if they are on the offense, the ball is moved forward from the defenders to the midfielders, and finally to the forwards who attempt to score a goal. If they are defending, the forwards provide the first line of defense, and if the ball gets past them then the midfielders provide the second line of defense, followed by the defenders and finally the goalie. Each player owns their individual position, but they also play as a team, supporting and protecting each other to meet a common goal. In this case, the goal is to score and prevent the other team from scoring.
During my bad restaurant experience, the players did not play their own positions and didn’t operate as a team. Unless I consider when an entire team fails to do their job together; but that is teamwork of a different kind.
When we are hired for a position or a specific purpose, we know what we need to do and how to do it. But that is not enough, we also need to understand our teammates roles, how respective roles fit together and our accountability to each other to meet our goals. If individuals do not work together as a team or have back up when needed, chaos ensues. When the milkshake fails the donut fills in. ?
Do you know the roles of the people doing the tasks before and after you in case you must back them up? Do you consider yourself accountable to your teammates to meet a common goal? Do you know who your back up is?
These are all important questions we need to ask ourselves to be successful. Tell me, who will back you up this weekend?
“Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”– Vince Lombardi