Good Afternoon, to the graduating class of Augusta Independent, class of 2015!! How proud we all are of you for achieving this success, and for the future success we know you are capable of accomplishing!!
What I am here to touch on with you today is the importance of teamwork. In today’s society, teamwork certainly will be presented to you in some fashion, whether on a day to day basis or as needed at your work, or even in your next phase of school, or in your personal life to accomplish goals that are important to you and your fellow team mates.
First, know that life is much more pleasant when you have help to achieve your goals. There is no need to “go it alone” when help is available, or a more successful outcome can be achieved by forming a team to produce the best possible outcome in the shortest period of time.
For example, imagine when you created the committee to plan your prom. There is a wonderful example of teamwork. You had a leader, to provide the facilities, timeline, equipment, outside resources, organizational skills (McGraw Hill), and the task structure (Hughes,Ginnett,Curphy) to help you become a cohesive team with a plan of action.
The common goal (McGraw Hill) you all shared was to produce the once in a lifetime experience that your whole graduating class deserved, and hopefully appreciated. Everyone who contributed surely had different ideas, and some were better than others at certain things, and hopefully everyone worked who would be assigned which task according to their strengths (Hughes,Ginnet, Curphy). Working within your timeframe, with your leader’s guidance, I am certain everyone enjoyed and was grateful for your hard work in developing the party to celebrate your last twelve years of dedication.
Now, I want to lay out the steps to a successful team for you. A common definition of a team is “A unit of two or more people who interact and coordinate their work to accomplish a specific goal.” (Sanders, ppt). This is different than a group in the respect that a group doesn’t necessarily have as close knit of a relationship, and doesn’t work in a coordinated effort. Teams have a common purpose, assigned duties, all with a specific goal in mind.
Mike Maerz, cofounder, chairman and CEO of etrieve, Inc states “ Four things characterize a great team. One, the team members must be galvanized by a common goal. That’s what spurs people on and drives them to excel. Two, the members need to be driven by the team’s results, not by INDIVIDUAL resuts….People must be able to subordinate their own personal goals…in favor of team goals. Three, the team has to be diverse. The team should be made up of people who think differently, too—intuitive thinkers as well as logical thinkers….Four, on the best teams, no one hesitates to act out of a fear that what they’re about to do isn’t in their area of responsibility. Good team players take action. They don’t stew about whether it’s their job or about whether they’re going to offend someone.”
Teamwork can produce great outcomes. Benefits include a better outcome. For example, in my line of work, health care, better patient safety is achieved by teamwork. This benefits us as a society. This ensures better care for your parents, your children, other family members and yourself.
Better ideas can result from teamwork, along with efficiency in results, pride in yours and your co workers’ work, and great friendships or networks. Bonding with others on a long task can produce a great network of friend, and in this day and age, networking is much more important than you may currently realize.
There can be pitfalls associated with a team and you can’t always avoid them. Just realize that we do not live in a perfect world and everyone is different. Watch out for slackers, overly dominent workers, conflicts amongst the team, and missing your deadlines. Try hard to stay on task, keep a balanced workload, and work out your issues among the team in an adult, respectful manner. Down the road, you will find that if you work well on your teams, doors will open for you in the future as old partners remember what a great team player you were!
As you continue down your paths to success, remember this phrase: “Everyone needs to have a part in the team! It is the performance of the team that matters, not the individuual roles” (McGraw Hill). I find this to be a very valuable piece to remember overall, to producing a successful end product. Keeping a good, open communication path and relying on others will help you succeed. Likewise, it will also produce of network of like minded individuals who remember and admire your work, and their respect for you will reward you in leaps and bounds. So continue down your path, be happy with the person you are and the choices you’ve made. But don’t forget teamwork. It is vital to your success in this lifetime.
Hughes, Ginnett, Curphy. Enhancing the Lessons of Experience. McGraw-Hill Publishing. 2006 Marauca, Regina Fazio. “What makes Teams Work?” Maerz, Mike. n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2014. McGraw-Hill Primus Custom Book. (2009). Introduction to Leadership Behaviors. Sanders, Jordyn. “Teamwork.” Fort Hays State University. Hays, Kansas. August, 2014. Presentation.