Build a Team

Bill Abbate

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Do you sometimes feel like you are working all alone in life? What if you had a team working with you to help improve your life? Teams easily outperform individuals, so imagine building a team around you that could help you do more, get more, and become more. Sound enticing? Let's explore the possibilities of building a team to help you achieve more in life.

If you have never thought about who is on your team in life, you are in for a treat. Most of us have a team, although we often do not realize it. Without the awareness of our team, we can feel like a loner and lose out on a great deal. Before getting into who is on this team, let's look at what makes up a true team.

What is a Team?

What constitutes a team? A requirement for a team is that each member shares responsibility for an outcome (goal). While each team member may work independently toward the outcome, they depend on the support of the other members to accomplish the goal. This outcome or goal must be mutually beneficial in some way.

For every team member, there is also the matter of accountability. To be part of a team, each member must be accountable to the others. If accountability does not exist with mutual benefit, there is no teamwork and no team.

Mutual Benefit and Accountability

Mutual benefit and accountability must never be one-sided. The key to a true team is that everyone benefits and is accountable somehow. Should mutual benefit and mutual accountability not exist, it is just a group and cannot function as a team.

In other words, everyone must have some skin in the game for a team to work. This does not mean everyone receives the same benefit, but everyone receives some benefit from being on the team. The same goes for accountability. Not everyone has the same degree of accountability, yet everyone is held accountable for doing their part to create the outcome.

Team Example

In football, there are many players, positions, and support personnel on the team. The team depends on each one to do their part, with accountability established in every direction. How can every person benefit from being a part of the team? In many ways! A few include monetarily, materially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. When the team wins, everyone on the team wins. When the team loses, every team member experiences the loss.

Who is on Your Team?

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." Henry Ford (1863-1947)

A team member in your personal life can play a large or small role. For example, someone you work with, from which you receive a mutual benefit and share accountability, is a team member at work, but not necessarily in the greater part of your life. Let's look at your overall life as opposed to just work.

Who are the team members in your life? A quick litmus test to find those on your team is to ask yourself: "Who benefits from my success?" followed by "Are we accountable to one another?"

The first person that comes to mind is my wife. Each of us wants the other to achieve our dreams. We both benefit from our mutual love. We are accountable to one another in our daily lives. We are truly on the same team when it comes to life. We are not only on the same team, but we are also co-captains!

By carefully examining who is on my team, there are many more team members than I initially thought. As with a sports team, the team in my life consists of many support members and players serving in various positions.

My close friends want the best for me, as I want the best for them in their lives. They support me mentally and emotionally. They challenge me to be my best and encourage me as I also encourage them. So yes, friends are an essential part of my team!

Our neighbors want the best for us as we do for them. We support one another materially when we need to borrow something. We feel connected as we navigate through our lives. We sometimes help each other with something requiring physical work, such as moving a piece of furniture. No selfishness exists in our relationship, and they are genuinely part of our team.

On the financial front, our financial management company is an integral part of our team. Their talented support staff and advisors help us as they invest, protect, and distribute funds each month during our retirement. Also, the government is part of our team as it provides social security benefits each month. The management company and we benefit each other by them handling our funds, from which they earn a fee. We are accountable to each other as they want to keep our business, and we expect them to do a good job. On the government side, we pay taxes while they distribute from what we paid for decades, and by law, each side is held accountable.

Who else is on your team in this game of life?

Your team's many other players and supporters include family members, friends, advisors, mentors, pastors, church leaders, and fellow congregants. Don't forget the local government and its many services! These services include those who protect and serve, such as police, firefighters, and EMS. The local government also provides libraries, parks, courts, water, sewage, garbage service, and more.

What about those in commerce? They are a vital part of our team. The local grocer supplies food, and other stores sell clothes. The barber and beauty shop provide personal services, while the gas stations supply fuel. There are so many others on this part of your team it would take some time to list them all.

As with any team member, all of those mentioned above gain benefits and is accountable. Indeed, each of us has many more members on our team than we realize.

Final thoughts

Recognize and understand that your many fellow team members are on your side, and what is good for you is good for them. Learn how to leverage your team, and you can create practically anything you want in life!

Give this matter some careful consideration. Use your journal to write down as many team members as possible. You will be awed at the team you already have. The more you build your awareness and appreciation for your team and its many members, the more opportunity you will find in life!

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it." H.E. Luccock (1885-1960)

Put some time aside soon to give it serious thought. If you make an earnest effort at this, you will be astonished at the possibilities and what you can achieve!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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