Tuesday, September 15, 2009


There is a picture in my head that I will never forget.
It was a sunny day in Florida and we were at a church picnic.  Someone was organizing games for the children and oneof them was "tug-o-war."  I wandered down to see what the kids were up to and enjoy their antics.  I'll never forget the lesson I learned next.  Some of the children decided to challenge some of the dads to a game of "tug-o-war."  The dads were against it at first, afraid they'd hurt the kids, but finally gave in... and lost.  The dads recruited reinforcements... and lost again.  More dads came.  More kids joined the kids side.  Again and again, those little kids pulled the dads slipping and sliding across the finish line.  I stood on the sidelines with some of the moms and watched in awe, we cheered at first, but as we continued to watch silence descended among us.  There was something amazing about this.  The dads had all the muscle, all the strength, but the kids had the TEAMWORK.  They had a person on the sidelines keeping the beat. "PULL!  PULL!"  Every single little foot moved in rhythym, every hand pulled in time.  Every time they out-pulled ten or twelve dads.

Teamwork goes beyond individual strengths.
Andrew Carnegie said that "[Teamwork] is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

In my life I have been blessed to be involved in many different situations that have taught me the value of teamwork.  Families are the first place to start.  Every family should function as a team and every member is vital to making that happen.  I was having a story-swapping session with a co-worker recently and she said: "You and your sisters (referring to the two sisters I share a house with) don't fight, do you?  You don't seem like you do.   That's amazing."  I felt like I had to clarify.  "We DO disagree," I responded, "And we do talk about our disagreements and sometimes there are hurt feelings, but we don't FIGHT."  I thought about that for a minute.  Why don't we fight?  I can think of one reason, my mom didn't ALLOW us to fight when we were little.  We're not in the habit of fighting when we have problems.  When we had a disagreement as children my mom's constant response was "Work it out."  Just work it out.  Make it work.  You'll probably have to give a little.  You may have to give a lot.  But, work it out.  Because whatever you work out between all of you is going to be stronger and better than whatever you were going to do by yourself with no support. 

I worked at a fast food restaurant.  It is absolutely impossible to run a restaurant through a busy lunch hour by yourself.  Similarly, you can have a big crew, but if everyone is trying to do everything themselves or nothing themselves it will be equally impossible. 

My current job is somewhat different.  I'm a florist, and a lot of the projects I work on are individual efforts.  I design bouquets by myself, but my boss is a HUGE advocate of teamwork.  At the end of a busy day she never forgets to say "Great job guys! See what we can accomplish with teamwork?"  It's the kind of team where we bring everything we have to the table, we depend on each other's strengths and cover each other's weaknesses.  We make it a point to encourage each other and learn from each other.  I'm a better floral designer because I work with other good floral designers.  We ask each other's advice and opinions.  Because we know we're stronger that way.  The shop is stronger and does better that way.  And if the shop does better WE do better.  Ultimately, we're looking out for each other, and each other's lives and families. 

And that's what teamwork is all about.  It's really true that
Together Everyone Achieves More


Mac September 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

Great post Rebecca!!!!

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