Out of the Box Team Work
Teamwork is critical to the success of any team, whether it be a sports team, a team on a work project, a team of doctors working to save a patient’s life, or a flock of birds flying south for the winter. To accomplish the end goal, no matter what it is, everyone must work together to get the job done. These stories will highlight the importance of teamwork, and help you learn to identify your own core strengths so you can build a team that will support your weaknesses.
Have you ever noticed that geese fly a V formation when they migrate? By flying this way, they are able to increase flight efficiency up to 71% when compared to a bird flying alone. This teaches us several lessons:
- Sharing direction and working together gets us where we need to go faster.
- When a goose leaves formation, he feels resistance and faces difficulties flying alone, similar to what we would experience if we left our team. Staying united as a team means there will be less effort required to achieve a goal.
- When the lead geese gets tired, he goes to the back of the formation. This shows us that we need to share leadership, and it’s okay to do so.
- The geese in the back of the formation quack to motivate and encourage the ones in the front, to keep them moving at the same speed. If we all speak up and keep each other motivated, we will be more successful as a team.
- When a goose is sick or injured, another goose hangs back with him to protect him, and stays with him until he dies, or is able to fly normally again. This shows us how we can support those who are not able to perform at their best, for the betterment of our team.
The Tortoise and the Hare, Revisited
We’re all familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare, where slow and steady wins the race, and fast is too confident. Let’s look at it again, with some revisions, to show teamwork.
The hare was disappointed in his loss, so he ran the race again, running as fast as he could the whole time, and won the race by miles. The moral here? Slow and steady is good, but it is better to be fast and consistent.
The tortoise decided they needed to run the race again, with a different route, and the hare agreed. This time, the race crossed a pond. While the hare stood and pondered what to do to cross it, the tortoise got in the water, and swam to the other side. The moral here? The tortoise found his core competency, and changed the course to suit it. You can do it, too.
But, the story doesn’t end here. By this time, the tortoise and the hare were pretty good friends. They decided the last race could have been done better, and they’d do it again, this time working as a team. In the beginning, the hare carried the tortoise. Then, when they reached the pond, the hare made it across on the tortoise’s back. On the opposite bank, the hare carried the tortoise again, and they finished the race together. The moral of this story? It’s good to have individual strengths. It’s even better to find ways to make your strengths work for the betterment of the team.
Individuals are strong, but when they work together as a team, highlighting each other’s strengths and taking control of the leadership together, the progress is far better than if one person does all the work.
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