Teamwork seems to be a pretty big deal at the moment. At work, it seems like it’s all about the team. We’re constantly hit with slogans like “There’s no I in team”. And whatever tasks need to be done, it doesn’t matter what you want to do – it’s the team that matters.
It’s not just in the workplace either. Everywhere you look, it seems to be team, team, team. Sports teams are always a big deal – seems like for some reason we’re a lot more invested in sports teams, whether that’s at a national or a club/franchise level, compared to individual sports. There’s something about that whole team dynamic that is really compelling.
As for myself, I have fairly ambiguous feelings about the whole team dynamic. Maybe it comes back to my childhood. I was pretty crap when it came to sports, but at the same time I was really enthusiastic and always wanted to give it a go.
The worst time was always at the beginning of the game. Two captains would be selected, usually the two kids who were the best at whatever game we were playing. Then, the tortuous process process of selecting the teams began. The first few picks were not too difficult – everyone knew which kids were good at sports. Then it started to get a bit trickier as the captains had to decide who were the kids who were not great but also not too bad – the ones who wouldn’t be too much of a liability for the team. And then you got right to the end, when there were only a handful of kids left. The ones who really weren’t much good. The ones who neither captain actually wanted to pick. The ones who looked (and played) just like me.
It was a pretty painful process. Sometimes there would be haggling. Sometimes captains would out and out refuse to make their final picks. Either way, it didn’t do a lot for self-esteem.
Many years have passed since those playground days and luckily it’s all a distant memory. Still, there are times when working in teams can trigger painful recollections. Maybe that’s why I’ve chosen to be a writer – an occupation that is generally quite solitary and individually-focussed. Not that I can permanently escape the team thing. I still have to work with collaborators, like editors and proofers and designers. Luckily, most of the time it’s not too difficult. I feel like I can be a valuable part of a team. I might even make myself one of the first people that I pick.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as