If you're a motivated person, it's easy to put your personal goals ahead of those of the people around you. It’s natural and not necessarily a bad thing; however, it is crucial to learn to be a team player.
Acting as a part of a team builds character, teaches empathy, and ultimately achieves goals. All of these things, in turn, are integral to your personal success. Here's why:
Group Effort Is More Effective Than Individual Effort
Yes, you can run a small business pretty independently, but if you ever plan on being employed or running a business that employs others, you'll have to learn how to work with other people. The most impressive feats are accomplished by groups of people, not individuals.
Earning Your Stripes
If you're part of a team, you have to prove your merit not only to yourself, but also to everyone you're working with. When something is expected of you, there are no excuses.
You either succeed or you fail. If you do fail, it's much harder to rationalize your actions to a team you let down than it is to yourself. Even if your team understands, it’s difficult to swallow the realization that you let down more than just yourself. Because of this, you learn how to deal with responsibility.
Effective leaders do not act solely as individuals. The purpose of a leader is to work with people to find solutions that work best collectively. Leaders bring people together. The best leaders don't act with a sense of superiority; they act with a sense of empathy.
Improving Others = Improving Yourself
If you're on a team, your personal success helps make you a team player. This is because most people are at least a little bit competitive, whether they admit it or not. When you do well, you set a standard that others will want to meet. By pushing yourself, you help push the people on your team.
Of course, this works both ways. When you see someone you're working with do something better than you, more often than not, you'll push yourself to meet that standard.
Your Attitude Matters
You should be the kind of person who WANTS to be a team player. People respect the ability to work well with others more than anything.
Your individual actions have an impact, but if you're reluctant to do something to help your team, it'll be evident and your contribution will be less appreciated. Having a genuine interest in your team helps you as well as those you're working with.
Don't Ever Think There's No "I" In Team
As much as your work is integral to the success of your team, the success of your team is integral to your success.
Top Photo Courtesy: Oceans 11