Who’s on your team?
The question springs from a generality, an easily understood concept that in corporations, as in any organization made up of leaders and followers, the combined strength of the team in its members and its output is fundamental to the success of the project.
But in the specifics, we must all ask of ourselves, who IS on your team?
The team can be a military platoon, a corporate project endeavor, a legislative committee. . . . think of professional or collegiate sports, a condominium or a nonprofit board of directors, of academic research. . . . a family, a marriage. . . .
One way or another, like it or not, we are each members of a team. Most likely, a lot of teams. And the success of what we engage in together is inevitably bound up in how strong our commitment is to the project that we have—as a team—undertaken.
There are many examples in the annals of Antarctic exploration that reveal the strength of teamwork, where truly grand aspirations were adopted by the men in the field parties—often working under extreme privation and duress—were rewarded, in the end, not only by survival but also by success.
That would be one of the reasons they call the years 1901-1916 the “heroic era” of Antarctic exploration. To learn more about the vital role that teamwork played in early Antarctic exploration please see Chapter 6 of our book, When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision Making Lessons from the Antarctic. The title of that chapter is: “Who Is On Your Team? Choosing the best from the best available.”