By Kien M. Lee
When Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he recounted an anecdote about how he single-handedly won a game for the Chicago Bulls, retorting to Tex Winters, assistant head coach:
"There's no "I" in "Team" but there's an "I" in "Win""
Obviously, a gifted genius like Michael Jordan has the ability in many situations to affect an outcome just by the sheer force of his talent and skills. For the rest of us, I think we can take away a different kind of lesson from this quote from Michael Jordan.
I interpret Jordan's words as such: I, as an individual within a team, must work hard towards my end goal, towards victory. His words tell me that I cannot depend on others to work hard nor rely on my teammates to carry me to the finish line.
I alone must want to work to win, and only then will overall success be gotten.
The team in this case, becomes an amalgamation and aggregation of every team member's contribution. EVERYONE must pull their weight and work towards a team goal.
Let me use an analogy from my investment banking experience to explain this: In finance's portfolio theory, there is the notion of diversification benefit - Simply put, it means that all the parts of a portfolio work and blend together to create an additional value that cannot be gained through the summing up of each individual component.
Simple Math to illustrate Diversification Benefit
Team (1 + 1 + 1) > 1 + 1 + 1
This is how I believe teams should operate. Everyone works to achieve success in their individual roles and areas of responsibilities, always keeping an eye on what the overall objectives are. There is no "I" in "Team" but there's a "Me" in "Team". What can I do to make my team win? - This should be your motivating thought working in a team structure.
For my team to succeed, I alone must succeed in my role first.
What can you do for your team today?
epilogue: Michael Jordan only started winning NBA championships after he embraced both Phil Jackson's philosophy and Tex Winter's strategies of team play.