The "i" in Team
Dare I say that there is an "i" in Team.
When we describe teamwork, we often use words and phrases such as collaboration, cohesive work, togetherness, group, etc. A team is a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. Many teachings on teamwork emphasize the need to work together, scholars zero in on the word together. What we sometimes forget is that you need individuals in order to make a team. You cannot have a team without willing individuals.
We can break down the definition of Team above into 3 parts. The first and most important part is the "Individual." The second which builds upon the individual is "Working Together". The third is the desire of individuals that are working together to "Achieve a Common Goal." Ultimately a team has a goal in mind to accomplish. But you cannot reach that goal without individuals working together.
Take for instance the Republican Party in America today. Their goal is to put a formidable candidate into the White House come January 2017. That goal is an outcome goal, meaning the eventual and ultimate thing desired. Prior to that, the Republican party would need to achieve a few smaller goals (or objectives). The party will need to successfully nominate a candidate and a vice presidential candidate who can respectfully and considerably beat the Democratic Presidential candidate. In order for the nomination to occur, individuals interested in becoming POTUS (President of the United States) will need to sell their plan to caucus voting members of the party; in essence, they will need to make an impact. This is an impact goal. But before an impact can be made, the Republican party will need to get voters registered, encourage debate and even sponsor a few programs to bring voters and candidates together; this is a process goal.
The second part of defining a Team is the importance of "working together". In chemistry, you must have a reaction in order to achieve a product. But your desired product can only be seen when the elements you've brought together work hand-in-hand; there has to be a connection, a linkage, a bridge. For example, water (H2O) is formed when 2 Hydrogen ions react with an Oxygen atom in a cohesive reaction; these elements come together. For a team to exist, there must be chemistry, they must work together.
All of that can only happen when you have competent, willing, capable and emotionally stable building blocks. If the Republican party does not have enough individuals who understand the importance of teamwork, understand the importance of the eventual goal, and understands the repercussion of not working together, they will never be victorious in the 2016 fall election. But of greater importance is the characteristics of the elements involved in a chemical reaction. If the elements lack character and the desired individual attributes needed to work together there will be no reaction, therefore, no product.
The individuals that work together to achieve a common goal are the building blocks of a team; they are the I in a team. You cannot have chemistry without elements, you cannot have an election without voters, you cannot have a team with individuals. What kind of individual are you then? Are you combative, difficult to work with and always opposing progress? Do you have too many ions on your outer orbit that you cannot latch on to the oncoming compound which has already begun working toward her goal? Do you see the cup half-empty more often than you see it half-full? Are you reluctant to work with others, a complainer or perfectionist that blames everyone else for what has gone wrong in a group effort? Check yourself before you find fault in other places. You have the power to break or make a team successful, choose wisely.