We live in a society that has a remarkable commitment to individuality and independence.
This is based upon a simple statement: “I win, you lose” – or a variation of it “I’m great, and you’re not.” This statement acts like a sentence and it quite literally sentences us to behave in a way that is designed for independence – and never interdependence.
Imagine the best all-time team sport players – for some this may be Michael Jordan, for others Pele, or Wayne Gretzky.
What would you say if these extraordinary players went on the basketball court, or the soccer field or a hockey rink and said “Today, I am going to play in the final game by myself against the entire team.”
It would be obvious to you that this is absurd, pointless – and maybe a little crazy – because no matter how great those individual players are, by themselves they cannot win. It would be impossible.
Yet, many people in business operate as individuals and say some of the following things: “There are no right people out there,” “I have to do it all by myself,” “Why can’t people do the simplest things? I have to do everything,” and “Let me show you how great I am.”
This is no surprise, but when we design our businesses this way we create a system that is completely dependent on us as business people. We are the center of attention. In this scenario, you get to say how big it grows; you get to put a limit on it – and, if you want, you can “blow it all up.” You also get all of the glory – and attention – if the results do get produced. It is intoxicating for the ego. Imagine, being admired and respected by those around you – knowing that at any point you could stop producing. That is the power you have in a dependent model. (By the way, the experience of those around you can be that of a tyrant).
Ultimately, all of us in business have to go through this experience to get to the next level of an effective business team system. You don’t have to go there, but if you do you may be surprised what rewards you get.
Superstardom is only possible with a team. No team, no superstardom.