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The Battle Series: Teamwork

//The Battle Series is a collection of posts on what I feel is the best way to challenge situations in life. Applicable anywhere and everywhere. Part one is here

Part two of the Battle Series:

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Chances are if you’re going into any battle you’ve surrounded yourself with some good companions; people who you trust with your back. If you’re alone then good for you. You’ll have less annoying issues because people will always be a pain when the heat gets cranked up. If you’re smart and strong you will manage.. for a while that is. The greatest single-person last man stands have all ended in the person dying. You can do a lot alone; and you can do way more with the right comrades.

One shall chase a thousand…

Two shall chase ten thousand…

The potential value of bringing a comrade on board isn’t calculated by addition or multiplication. It’s by exponentiation . It’s huge. But that’s just it. Potential. The actual value can be less, which happens most of the time. And by less I mean you may actually lend your enemy a helping hand. No, seriously ask Rome. When they had two consuls governing the same army. Hannibal ran rings around them. Figuratively of course, because the actual battles were so overly one sided that saying he ‘ran rings’ just doesn’t cut it.

So what is this ‘teamwork’ that people talk about. Rightly dividing the load equally between your colleagues? Giving each person a chunk as per his or her abilities? I’d say teamwork is whatever works for you when it’s not only you involved. Personally I’d define it as doing as much as you can and then tell your comrades, “there, that’s my bit. Let’s see how far y’all can take it”. And the grind continues.

That being said, ‘dream teams’ are few and are rarely large, because an extra brain is an extra complication you have to handle.

Don’t be that guy [or girl]

Photo credit: onthejob.45things.com

Photo credit: onthejob.45things.com

Allow me to begin with a short tale of valiance.

I was pretty active in high school, and in my second last year I was made the captain of our rugby team. We weren’t the best but we always had fun participating in tourneys; as a school we hadn’t won anything in a while so the pressure was on. Now the following year things became interesting.

We had two games on the opening day of the new season; an okay match and a pretty tough one (one of last year’s best teams). The first one went well; we thrashed our opponents decisively. It was a good team performance and everyone was fine. However minutes to our second match, two of our core players could not be found. I call them core players because they had much more experience than me and the team was in fact built around them. And because of that there were a little ego issues here and there but I never really thought that it would come to them running away when the team needed them. Nevertheless I gave the rallying cry (William Wallace style) and we went into that game, playing for  our pride. The thought of throwing in the towel lingered in my head for a while but I decided it was best to go through with it regardless of the outcome. Yes, the outcome was devastating; a whooping 53-0 loss. But it was a valiant defeat. We made so much noise in the bus on our way back to school people thought we had won. So what had happened?

Something changed that day. As a team we always believed in ourselves but the presence of the two who ran away contributed  heavily to the mentality,  so when they had betrayed us there was a little shake up and people asking questions like ‘can we really do this?’ But after the game, that confidence that went was re-established and cemented. ‘We can do this.’ ‘We are the ones playing.’ We realised that we can do it without them. And that changed our team for the rest of the season. We went on to win 2 trophies that year;the first two titles for the school in a very long time. They weren’t the most prestigious but they were something nonetheless and the school had taken pride in the rugby team once more.

Which brings me to my point. Usually in every team, there will always be a couple of stars who think they can (or are) carrying the whole team. True, at time they are just that good. However, downfall begins when they think that ‘they can’t do it without me’. I call that the beginning of the end. Soon after, out of pride, the stars pull out to watch the team crash and burn. But if the other team mates realize that they can do it without the stars, then the door automatically closes for the stars and they are done for. Rarely will they be able to re-earn their spots, because the team will be performing just as good minus the ego issues.

What I’m saying is, regardless of how good you think you are, or how well you think you ‘complete someone’, or how convinced you are that you are the reason for something’s or someone’s success, you can never let that idea linger in your head. The day you glorify yourself as holding the key then that’s the day you crash and burn. Because those who you think need you, will realize that they don’t, and you may never be needed again. And that ‘need bridge’ burns so quickly and is never easily repaired, that is if it can be repaired at all.

Don’t be that guy [or girl].

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