If you are anything like me, the statement that there IS an “I” in team caught my attention. Not just because the letter “I” is not physically present in the spelling of the word, but more specifically that I was always taught the contrary. That there is no “I” in team and that within the team the focus needs to be on what is good for the whole team rather than each individual. So how could this be true?
Well about 10-15 years ago my learning was challenged and I have never forgotten this new lesson. As part of our annual sales convention we hosted Craig Simpson, who was an integral part of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Dynasty, to deliver a motivational talk to our team over dinner. There are so many great things I could tell you about this man, but to stay on point, I was shocked when he started his talk by telling us all that there is absolutely an “I” in Team. For an athlete that competed at that level and was part of such an incredible team that accomplished so much, I thought I must have heard him wrong, but I didn’t.
He went on to share with us the responsibility that each of us have to bring the best version of ourselves to the team and how to be accountable to our teammates to deliver on our strengths while encouraging and supporting others on the team to do the same. I can honestly say that this was an “ah-ha” moment for me. I believed that I always did bring my best and tried my best at all I did; but did I really? Focusing and reflecting on the words responsibility and accountability changed my self-evaluation. I began to dig deep to realize that I wasn’t always playing at peak performance; that I wasn’t always bringing my best “I”, and that my team deserved more!
There were definitely times that I played in less than perfect health due to lack of exercise, nutrition or sleep which depleted my energy. There were times in which my mind was preoccupied by the past, unfinished business or other tasks, robbing me from being present in the moment. Opportunities were missed where I could have taught the team how to utilize my strengths or when I wasn’t smart enough to leverage theirs. I could go on and on.
I would like to tell you that after hearing this powerful message that I turned my life around and perfected my efforts, but that is not the case. I strive to bring my best and be present in all that I do, but I am still a work in progress. Practicing mindfulness, journaling and being brutally honest with myself is what helps me to keep myself on my path. Each day I compete against yesterday’s version of myself and I plan to win. I consciously plan to do better, be better and contribute more each and every day. I plan to SHINE!
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