Bill was psyched when the department manager assigned him to the “A Squad.”
“I guess all the long hours this past couple of months have paid off,” he murmured, mentally patting himself on the back. Now he could kick back and enjoy the ride. Not to mention the prestige of being on the team everyone respected. They had it all together. No doubt about it.
“I probably won’t have to do a thing . . . ” More murmuring under his breath. Show up, smile, nod.
He’d be on easy street now. And after only six months of keeping his nose to the grindstone.
Bill is in for quite an awakening, as well as an in-depth tutorial on teamwork. The “A Squad” didn’t earn their name or acquire that lengthy list of accomplishments by allowing team members to lounge in the corner with their feet up. Theirs’s is a tight-knit, hard-working, “all in” group of dedicated players. Imagine Bill’s surprise when he discovers that this dynamic contingent begins every team session with a summary from each partner about their assigned tasks. And picture his dismay when the assembly draws to a close with another go-around where each collaborator shares at least one idea/process/resource that he/she will look into before the next meet up.
The “A Squad” are partners who each contribute to the effort. They are invested shareholders who participate willingly and eagerly. Allies who are unified. They have each other’s back; they trust each other. None are afraid to speak with candor and honesty. The value of giving and receiving constructive criticism is an understood and practiced principle. The “A Squad” are prime examples of how a group can achieve much more than one player alone.
Bill’s not the first aspiring A Squad newbie to have his take-it-easy dreams dashed. And he won’t be the last. The team is such a well-oiled machine; they make it look easy. Hence the reason Bill and others long for a spot in the lineup. Will he make the cut? That’s up to Bill. While the “A Squad” welcomes new players with open arms, only those who understand the true collaborative approach that makes the “A Squad” who they are, remain on the team long term.
Being a good team member is not rocket science. Bill can learn to be a team player. The first step will be to trade his lounging-in-the-corner attitude for an active-participant mindset. Put his ears and eyes on high alert. Watch, listen, take it all in. Then step up to the plate and take a pitch.
Get in the game, Bill, or not. The choice is yours.
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