Is there an “I” in Team?

there is a me in teamI once heard a story of a coach giving a beginning of the year pep talk to his young baseball players.  Trying to stress the importance of teamwork he said, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” After practice one player approached the coach and asked innocently, “Coach, my English teacher taught us that ‘I’ and ‘Me’ mean the same thing, there just used in different ways.  It wouldn’t be correct to say ‘Me is on the team’, the proper sentence would be ‘I am on the team.’ So there is an ‘I’ in team, and it’s me” 

This young baseball player may have misunderstood the coach’s initial statement.  However, he was exactly correct in his understanding of teamwork – its success is dependent on the individual success of each “Me.”

Teamwork does not discount the individual, it relies on their unique abilities working together.

“Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success”

Each “Me” can’t do everything needed for success, and that is the great thing about teamwork. John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do,” and Napoleon Hill said, “If you cannot do great things do small things in a great way.” It is the combination of individual talent that brings success to the team.

Each “Me” won’t be as successful alone as they will being part of a team.  This holds true whether you play Baseball or an individual sport like Tennis (think of the coach and racket manufacturer as part of the team), or if you work for a large corporation or for yourself as an Author (think of the publisher and Federal Express as part of the team).  The reality is that working together to accomplish a goal raises everyone’s success.   

“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities… without becoming very good at it.”  – Brian Tracy

In answer to the title of this article, as our young Basaeball player said, “There is an ‘I’ in team, and its ‘Me.'”


6 Responses to Is there an “I” in Team?
  1. Joy

    Denis, I love this post. It is amazing how much more you can accomplish with a team that works together, where everyone is in it for the benefit of the team. And when you take the talents of all of the individuals, you can multiply the possibilities!

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Joy, I agree the multiplication of this focus is amazing. Thank you.

  2. Pagu

    Absolutely Mr. McLaughlin! Ideal team is an asset to any Institution…
    Topic of the post is excellent!

  3. Anna Falcone

    This is very true. When all team members commit and understand that their strengths are counted on, everyone feels valued and reaps the rewards of success!

  4. Bob

    “Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success”