A current advertisement reads: “Athletes score points, but teams win games.” While the ad is referencing the collaborative nature of a clinic the sentiment applies to teams of all types. Unfortunately, some athletes or other team members see their engagement in a team as optional. It isn’t.

In an organizational setting, everyone’s job description should include the responsibility to “be a good team member.” It doesn’t matter if a person has exceptional individual skills; they will not reach their full potential unless they can effectively function in a group setting. Acting as a “lone ranger” or independent contractor doesn’t work within an organization – at least not over the long term.

If you’re a leader or supervisor and see someone off to the sidelines or declining invitations to engage with the group, make a course correction quickly. A team needs everyone in the huddle to win the game.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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