Very rarely, if ever, is anything of any real importance accomplished by individual effort.
Having said that, I must acknowledge that there are numerous occasions when one person will receive the credit, fame and fortune for some great accomplishment. But you can be fairly certain that the person had the cooperation, collaboration and backing of a dedicated team.

Even a small group of people who are united in their efforts and focused on a specific objective can enjoy the benefits of tremendous results.

Some years ago, I heard a story about a person visiting a hospital for the criminally insane. This visitor was astonished when he noticed that over 100 dangerous inmates were being watched by only three or four armed guards. He asked the official who was escorting him through the facility:

"Aren't you afraid that these people will overpower your guards and escape?"

The reply was rather crude, but honest; the official told him:

"Nah--lunatics never unite."

Personally, I don't know if that statement is accurate, but I am fairly certain that groups of people who do not think, rarely unite to enjoy the benefits of superior accomplishments.

Wherever you work, you are probably part of a team--an important part. From experience, the best part of building a team or being a part of the team is that you can draw on other people's strengths--and the whole is much more effective than the sum of its individuals parts.

I believe P.J. Hamerton was wise in his statement:

"A strong life is like a ship of war, which has its own place in the fleet and can share in its strength and discipline; but can also go forth alone to the solitude of the infinite sea. We ought to belong to society and have our place in it; but be capable of an individual existence, outside of it."

I believe that each of us needs to be independent, but we also need to be interdependent. People do work better together. The Super Bowl is never won by a group of separate people supporting one or two prima donnas--it is won by a team working in harmony, following a game plan.

Begin this very moment thinking about what you would like to see your team accomplish today. What can you do today that will cause your team to become more united? This could be the most productive day in your career to date.



BOB PROCTOR is Publisher of Networking Times.