It is that time of the year when many of you will be starting to look for jobs, and facing the disconcerting truth of a life ‘out there’. There are many so called ‘transitive’ skills that employers look for and value in potential employees, but perhaps the most prevalent of these is the ability of individuals to work with others towards shared objectives – to be able to interact and operate as part of a team.
This notion of what it is to be in a team, however popular, is flat and shallow, it’s the reflection on the surface of the sea beneath. Being part of a team in the truest sense of the word is something very special, and something surprisingly rare.
To be part of a team means many different things to many different people, and its something that escapes accurate definition. It’s something that’s never explicit, something that can’t be forced or taught, and something that happens regardless of the standards of players, where they come from, what they look like, or what language they speak. Being part of a team means that without knowing why, you’re prepared to go the extra distance, to put yourself on the line for something more important than the glory of winning or the recognition of your achievement. It’s about an unspoken bond between players that is only characterised by the selflessness of those around you and the recognition that the team can only succeed when the players realise that as individuals they can only fail – that the team is more than the sum of its parts.
It is this belief, this intangible feeling that leads teams to accomplish the impossible, to defy the odds, to succeed where there is seemingly only failure. Don’t be mistaken, there is of course much more to it than this, but this is what sets the best apart. I’ve been part of many teams, competing at various levels in more sports than most, and I’ve only experienced this twice and on a very small scale, but I hope those who read this have been there and know what it feels like. It’s something that helps define us as individuals, and something that never dies. So, what ever you end up doing, and wherever you find yourself, remember that a lot has been said of great teams and the philosophies that underlie them, but that in the end it all comes down to this. Where we go one, we go all.