The wisdom of teams.

November 18th, 2011

Football is figuring prominently for me this week as I plan my Thanksgiving cooking schedule around the Green Bay Packers’ midday game on Turkey Day. But I’ve been thinking about the team for other reasons this week, too. And not just its undefeated 9-0 record.

I’ve been mulling over something one of the NFL announcers said in the wrap-up of Green Bay’s blowout win against the Minnesota Vikings Monday night. The commentator marvelled that quarterback Aaron Rodgers had thrown 23 completion passes to ten different receivers. He remarked on Mike McCarthy’s coaching style, player trust and cooperative spirit. He was talking about teamwork.

This morning, as I do everyday, I opened Napoleon Hill’s online Thought for the Day to read this headline: A good football team relies more on harmonious coordination of effort than individual skill. I think what follows is worth remembering:

Teamwork is a “cooperative effort by the members of a team to achieve a common goal.” The key words in the definition are cooperative effort. Without the support of the entire group, no team can long endure. Football players quickly learn that no member of the team can be a star in every play. Most moments of glory are built upon a long series of plays, each won by committed, determined, bone-jarring blocking and tackling. A winning team is one whose members recognize that when one member of the team is successful, the entire team wins. Conversely, a sure way to develop a losing formula is to create an environment in which team members compete with one another instead of the opponent. When all members give their best in every situation — whether they are carrying the ball or clearing the way for someone else — the team wins, and so does each individual member of it.


We’re all on a team of one kind or another, whether it’s within our business, organization, community or family. And, as in football, every single player has a responsibility on every single play. The energy of harmonious relationships and cooperative effort is truly an essential component of success. Go team!


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