You’ve heard that saying, “If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard (X, Y or Z)… I’d be rich!” Well, I can say that about people who claim that the performances of their teammates have no bearing on their professional livelihood or success.
It’s amazing to watch grown adults ignore the facts that clearly indicate that one of their peers are struggling. They work around and over them, all the while the person is floundering and not contributing.
Some claim that it takes too much effort to “bring them up to speed” while others cop out with comments as to how “completely incompetent” the teammate must be, saying the time would ultimately be wasted regardless.
Neither of these responses indicates that the person issuing them has any clue as to what teamwork is really all about. I like to share this story with them:
One day in a small farmhouse a long way removed from the city, a mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
“What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered.
He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the pig and told him “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow and said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.
In an attempt to break her fever, the Farmer set out to make his wife some fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.
But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer’s wife did not get well; and sadly, she died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
With his friends now gone, the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness knowing that had they only realized their fate, things could have ended much differently for them all.
Monday Morning Perspective
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” –Babe Ruth
So, the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember: when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
There cannot be successful teams where there are individual failures. Building teams means building up every single teammate no matter how long it takes. Investing in people is truly the only safe investment you’ll ever make!
Invest wisely and reap the rewards!
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2012. All rights reserved.