Author, speaker and pastor John C. Maxwell is credited with coining the phrase "Teamwork Makes the Dream Work." I''m also fond of the saying "There's No 'I' In Team." While it's important for your daughter to develop and flex her leadership skills, its equally as important for her to know how to play a role on a team, even if she is the team's leader.
I recently read somewhere, leaders understand that to achieve goals, it's important to have everyone working in unison. If folks on the team have different goals, the only result will be chaos.
Instill in your daughter the importance of being a team player early. Sure, she can grasp the concept if she plays sports, but say sports isn't her thing (raises hand)? If she can grasp the following tips she will not only develop her teamwork muscle, she will have a valuable skill to showcase on her resume, in essays and in one-on-one interactions (interviews, etc..)
Two Hands Are Always Better Than One
When a team has a common objective, everyone should be working to achieve it. In a supportive team environment, every contribution made gets the team closer to their goal. The thing to remember is, everyone has a unique skill-set. Maybe someone is great at writing, another team member is great at motivating and inspiring. Yet another person is a great speaker. It's not about how much someone does to reach the goal, it's about did we reach the goal with everyone putting their best in the pot.
There is no perfect person. No one can do it ALL. That's why the concept of team is so important, useful and powerful. A team is strong because of the sum of its members. With more hands there are more skills available, so weaknesses can be counterbalanced resulting in the team accomplishing more than any individual could achieve on their own. There’s no room for individual egos because everyone has an unselfish, common goal. When the team succeeds — everyone in the team shares the glory.
Nothing Beats A Failure But A Try
I have a friend who never gets this statement no matter how many times I say it (which is at least once a week!) It basically means you only fail if you stop before trying or worse, don't even bother to try.
The good thing about being on a team is that its members can support each other through the failures and disappointments as well as the successes. Failures means the way you tried it didn't work, but there is always more than one way to skin a cat (I'm metaphor queen right now! Y'all see me! :) And while an individual may find it hard to try again on their own, but with team morale, support and ideas bumps in the road toward the goal won't be a catastrophe! The team will keep pushing forward, dust themselves off and try again. Without failure, there would be no way to measure success.
It’s important to recognize and admit mistakes because only then can you move past them and improve your learning curve. As your team celebrates accomplishments, pride builds up and the team grows even stronger. Eventually, there won’t be any stress if mistakes or failures do occur because the team recognizes that a failure simply demonstrates what doesn’t work — so they can continue to narrow the options until finding something that does work.
Teamwork Helps You Recognize Your Full Potential
As mentioned earlier, no one is perfect or great at every single thing. We have limitations and that's ok, that's what makes us beautifully human. There are some things your daughter will excel at that other girls her age will flounder in, and vice versa. However, being in a team environment it's easier to not only recognize but also identify what you're good at and work toward developing that skill to its full potential. In a team atmosphere, it’s the combination of these strengths that sees teams make powerful, forward progress towards reaching all objectives.
By supporting each other through your individual gifts, a balance is created and the team gets much stronger as a result.
Leaders Are A Part Team
It is absolutely important to lead where your daughter can, but at the end of the day leaders are just a part of the team. The role of a leader can be even that much more important on the team because the followers are looking to the leader for direction. If necessary, the leader needs to jump in the trenches and roll up her sleeves and do the very work the team is doing - in other words, lead by example. Of course, the leader's role could be considered as different to the rest of the team, but each team member has their area of responsibility & expertise, so it really isn’t that different. If a leader doesn’t do their job well, that lets the team down in the same way as if another team member lets the rest down.
A true leader carries the attitude that says “I'm part of the team. I just happen to be the one in charge.” It doesn’t mean the leader can accomplish the goals on their own. That’s why teams are created in the first place.
Of course, the leader has to exercise a certain level of authority at times to ensure the team is functioning correctly and at peak efficiency. But the rest of the time you’re just “one of the team.”