The Real I in Team

As We Move Forward: The Real I in Team


We have all heard the phrase, “There is no I in team.” We have come to understand that to refer to the ideal of a team effort reflecting the combined efforts of everyone involved and not shining the light of the accomplishments of one individual to the exclusion of others.

We don’t have to go far to envision examples of this type of thing happening. We can all picture a sports team with one outstanding player and others of average abilities. In the interest of winning, it is easy to imagine focusing the efforts of the entire team on enhancing the efforts of that one person.

There are times and circumstances when a particular person is featured. Some examples could include a soloist in a musical performance, the star in a play, or someone seeking political office. In each of these cases, there is a team, but the recognition goes to the individual being featured.

What makes these situations different than the example in the opening paragraphs is the understanding that in the latter cases, the clear intent of the team’s effort is to showcase the talents and abilities of the featured individual in each case. The other members of teams with featured individuals don’t view their efforts as being overshadowed by the performance of one person.

Let’s look at what makes the difference. Looking at situations in which we work on projects as part of a team, how can we bring our best to each situation in terms of our talents and abilities without being concerned with who might get praise or recognition for what is accomplished.

It is important to ask what makes each of us want to bring our best to a situation where we are asked to be part of a team. If we can figure that out and come up with the necessary motivation to bring our best effort to each situation, then we really are bringing the real I to each team situation.


As we move forward, we can look at every situation in life and ask how we can be the best we can possibly be in and for that particular situation. We can also ask how we can encourage others to want to bring their best to each situation. Imagine if each of us is putting forth as much talent and effort as we would if were the featured soloist or star. There is virtually no limit as to what we would be able to accomplish.

As we move forward, wouldn’t it be amazing to be part of a team where each of us is bringing the best I we can be to every situation. Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to be part of that effort. The real I in team is there in the form of every member, but the I in team is silent.

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