A team is a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed

Prof. (Col) Shishir Kumar: Team Works make the Dream Works.


A team is a small group of people with complementary skills and abilities who are committed to common goal and approach for which they hold each other accountable. The difference between good and great teams is the degree of team spirit that bonds them together. To quote Rocky Colavity, “You cannot tell how much spirit a team has until it starts losing”. In the word of Ratan Tata, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together”. One team and one spirit gives you a big success.

Let us understand what spirit is. Strength and Courage are not always measured in medals and certificates, they are measured in the term of struggles they overcome. The strongest people are not the people who always win, they are the people who do not give up when they lose. Henry Ford has rightly said,

“Coming together is a beginning

Keeping together is progress

Working together is success”

Happiness is being in a team. A good team needs three things:

· The right people

. The right spirit and

· Couple of jokes

Somebody has rightly said, “Team shares the burden and divide the grieve”.

To quote Bill Bethel,

“A successful team is a group of many hands and one mind”.
It has been said by Michal Jordan, “There is no ‘I’ in the TEAM but there is in WIN”.
Ego is the biggest enemy of effective teamwork when somebody in a team tries to get all the credit and concerned about his self-interest than the team — It becomes unhealthy. A team needs cooperation, not the competition.

It reminds me a story of a washerman whose name was Sukhdev. Sukhdev had two donkeys, the first one was called as Moti and the second one was called Heera.

Moti used to feel that he is more energetic and could do better than the other donkey. He always used to draw the attention of washerman Sukhdev by carrying more and more load and moving as fast as possible. Heera was just a normal donkey and he could not catch up with the speed of Moti and therefore, he was always punished by Sukhdev. One day Heera requested Moti that there is no need of competing with each other if we would work together we could carry an equal load and move back normal speed. After this Moti became more competitive and he started moving faster taking higher loads and thus Heera started getting more severe punishments. Heera could not tolerate the severity of punishment and passed away. As a result, Moti felt on the top of the world after proving his superiority. But now he has to carry the load of Heera. Initially Moti was able to carry the loads but subsequently, he became fatigued and very weak. Slowly and slowly, Sukhdev was not happy and satisfied with the performance of Moti and finally Sukhdev killed Moti and started searching for another pair of donkeys. The story is simple and has lot to learn from its maoral.

The lesson derived from the story is “You should not try to over shine more than your peers, taking all the credit and doing more than your capability eventually damages the team spirit and also yourself. In addition, a leader must not give all the work to their ace worker because eventually, it results in low morale amongst the team. While every leader wants a team of full of superstars, but it does not work that way. A successful leader is one who gets extraordinary from ordinary members of his team. The strength of the team is each member and the strength of each member is the team”.

Recipe for teamwork:

1 gallon of trust

2 quarts of commitment

5 pints of effective communication

4 cups of collaboration

2 tablespoon of conflict resolution

10 Teaspoon of Innovation and creativity

Blend above items with team spirit which results in desired outcomes and success.

At this juncture, I remember a story which has been told to me by my high school teacher. The story goes as under: – All of you must have heard the story of hare and tortoise where they ran a race jointly and as hare was moving much ahead of the tortoise, he started taking rest in the shade of a tree and he slept as he was tired. The tortoise was consistent and steady in her speed and she kept on running and thus tortoise reached the finish point and declared winner while hare kept on sleeping in the shade of that tree. The lesson given from this story was “Slow and steady wins the race”.

In this modern technological era if you are slow you will never be able to succeed. Therefore, there is a need for rewriting this story. On getting defeated hare felt extremely bad and thought that even after having better capability than tortoise, I could not win the race because I took rest and went to sleep. He goes and request tortoise to participate in another race. He took a pledge that I shall never stop while running this race. The race was started and he kept on running in his pace consistently and was declared as the winner of the race. Here the lesson is “It is not that slow and steady wins the race but even Fast and consistent also wins the race”.
Now, this is the turn of tortoise, she contemplated that she has given her best but still she could not compete with the hare and therefore there is a need of changing the strategy. She goes and invites the hare for the race. After winning the second race hare was overconfident and he accepted the invitation. The race was started on the pre-decided date and after running for few minutes hare encountered a river and stopped. Tortoise came at her own speed and she swam across the river and reached the finish point which was the far side of the river.

Hare was so confident that he did not find out even about the route of the race. Hare the lesson needs to be given is “Identify your core competence and operate in the area of core competence to defeat your competitor.” At the end of this race, both met each other and decided to run the race as a TEAM where hare will carry the tortoise on the ground and tortoise will carry the hare in the water. They ran the race and the race was completed in 1/10 th of the time, the winners have taken earlier. So the lesson is “None of us is as smart as all of us. Work together and achieve more”.

To quote Ryunosuke Satoro,

“Individually we are one drop But together we are an ocean”

To quote B Ergen, “The ratio of We’s: I’s is the best indicator of development of a team”.

In the word of Michal Jordan

“Talent wins Games Team work and Intelligence wins Championships”.

Team effectiveness: it is the capacity a team has to accomplish the goal of the organization. Octagon of team effectiveness: Effective teams are necessary for the growth, development, and management of an organization. The success of any organization depends on the kind of team it has.

The old structures of an organization are being reformed as organizations are becoming more flexible due to liberalization, privatization and globalization. A survey recently conducted by Stanford University revealed that being a team player was a most important factor in getting ahead in the workplace. This factor was ranked higher than merit, performance, leadership skill and intelligence. It reminds me of an another story which will bring out the basic concept of the team spirit. This is a story related to a race where especially abled people were participating. Story goes as under: – In Delhi, a competition was organized for especially abled children. It was an event of 800 meters race where 10 participants were running. On the sound of the gun, the participants started racing ahead. After completion of three fourth of the race, one of the participants who was coming fourth fell down, seeing this the participant who was running ahead of him came back and helped him in standing up. By the time other participants had also fetched up. After that everyone was surprised to see that all participants started running together and all 10 reached the finish point at the same time. The organizer had a tough time as he had arranged for one gold medal but as all 10 has touched the finish point together they decided to reward their TEAM SPIRIT by awarding all 10 gold medals.

All present on this occasion of “Award ceremony” have given standing ovation to specially enabled children who had exhibited an unparalleled example of team spirit. Quite often it is observed that outstanding performers are generally poor in Team Spirit. Since most activities in today’s world depend on how a person works in team environment. This soft skill is very vital that has a high correlation with one’s career progression. All the members of the organization need to know how to build encourage congenial relationship even in most difficult and critical situation. “The speed of the boss is the speed of the team”. — Lee Iacoca

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