On Leadership: Teamwork vs. Talent



Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

~ Michael Jordan

The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.

~ James Cash Penney (JC Penney)

To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one.  You become selfless.

~ Mike Krzyzewski

Unity is strength.  When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.

~ Mattie Stepanek

I recently read the following story shared by Edward Dube and felt it was a great way to illustrate the power of teamwork.

‘Boyd K. Packer, [a prominent religious leader], once attended an ox pulling contest, where he drew out an analogy. He said of the experience: “A wooden sledge was weighted with cement blocks: ten thousand pounds [4,535 kg]—five tons. … The object was for the oxen to move the sledge three feet [91 cm]. … I noticed a well-matched pair of very large, brindled, blue-gray animals … [the] big blue oxen of seasons past.”

In speaking about the result of the contest, he said: “Teams were eliminated one by one. … The big blue oxen didn’t even place! A small, nondescript pair of animals, not very well matched for size, moved the sledge all three times.”

He was then given an explanation to the surprising outcome: “The big blues were larger and stronger and better matched for size than the other team. But the little oxen had better teamwork and coordination. They hit the yoke together. Both animals jerked forward at exactly the same time and the force moved the load.”’

I love the phrase “they hit the yoke together.”  That’s really what teamwork is all about.  The “force” of hitting together moving the load.

Does it feel like you are competing against the big blue oxen sometimes?  Well funded, established brands that seems to have an army at their disposal to keep the machine moving?  I know I do.  However, I also know and believe in the power of a unified team.  You can move quickly.  You can “hit the yoke together” and move the sledge before the larger competitor does.  When you do, great things happen and you begin to succeed.  The challenge is not turning into the big blue oxen once you have achieved success!

Teamwork is a principle of greatness.  You see it played out in the world of sports all the time.  It’s true in sports and it is true in business.  It’s true in life as well if you consider your family your team.

Choose teamwork.


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