Team Work: What is it?

U.S. President Bill Clinton wrote with reference to the activities of Little League Baseball that "Contests like yours provide an exciting opportunity to strengthen our faith in ourselves and our understanding of the value of teamwork." However, teamwork is not related only to sports, but goes above and beyond them.

The word 'teamwork' extends far into our everyday life, right from our earliest days. It is a word which is often taken for granted. Teamwork means living in harmony with other persons. Teamwork means helping your mom, dad, sister or neighbor. It reflects your feelings towards others. Teamwork is almost synonymous with the "Golden Rule"*.

Just imagine life without it! Without teamwork, your mom would be overworked to the bone. Teamwork means things like taking the garbage out, walking the dog or just keeping your room in some sort of order. It means helping your dad wash the car or paint the garage door. Teamwork is helping your neighbor. It might be something you don't even associate with teamwork like a problem which has to be talked over with someone.

Teamwork goes with you into the schoolroom and out onto the sports field. You take it along with you to every job you will ever have. Teamwork is the backbone of every successful marriage and starts on the first date. It is even more important than a winning smile or padded bank account. It is that certain 'something' which makes us compatible with everyone we meet along life's path.

Can you imagine sports without teamwork? Just picture a basketball player who dribbles the ball from one end of the court to the other, not passing it to his teammates! Sports like relay races could not exist because one runner would want to run all the laps himself. Even doubles in tennis would have to be eliminated because one player would not allow his partner to hit the ball. Take skating pairs, where harmony of movement is a must. Without teamwork these competitions could not take place. Teamwork is just as important while dancing the waltz or tango.

Teamwork follows you into your work place. It means sharing the computer with your fellow worker or standing in for him if he can't work overtime, taking an interest in his health problems or just trying to understand him as a person. Teamwork is even more important if you are a section manager or the chairman of the board of any large corporation.

Regardless of your position, you have to work with other people and that means teamwork.

Was it Einstein who said, "if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"? That's just a fancy way of saying teamwork is a two-way street. Life is complicated enough as it is, so hang on to teamwork and share it with others. Spread it around to those who are not sure just how it works. Implant it in your children. Just like 'Johnny Appleseed' who planted orchards, become the sower of teamwork at home, in school, at the office or on the sports field. The results will be breathtaking!

*Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Samantha Abercrombie