Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Power of Team Work

My newest roommate has gotten both me and Karen into a new reality show, The Biggest Loser. I have never really wanted to watch the show, but I must admit, I have found parts of it to be inspiring. But last night's episode highlighted the timeless principle of team work and it was by far the most inspiring part of the show that I have seen to date.

Both teams had to participate in the same challenge - climb a mountain as many times as they could in 14 hours. At both the top and the bottom of the mountain they had to take a picture for physical evidence that they had made the climb. The kicker was that if the entire team was in the photo, then they would receive 6 points versus the 1 point for every picture that was taken.

The two teams each had their own strategy. The black team decided to stick together and they would march up and down the mountain together as a team and not leave a person behind. The blue team decided that if they let one of their teammates, Brady, off by himself, he would be able to get up and down the mountain more times than they would together. And off they all went. The black team stuck to their strategy and went up and down the mountain as a team, while Brady would lap both his teammates and the other team, running up and down the mountain. In the end, one team completed 81 miles while the other completed 79 miles - only a 2 mile differential. Brady, all by himself, ran over 20 miles in the timespan, an absolutely incredible physical feat. BUT the kicker was, because the black team stuck to their strategy and went up and down the hill as a team, they ended up accumulating more points, 164, than the blue team, which had 149.

What an incredible illustration. Here you have two teams that end up being only separated by a 2 mile differential and yet because of teamwork, one team was able to pull off the win. Brady on the blue team went off on his own and tried to carry the team on his shoulders, pulling off an absolutely amazing physical feat, and yet came up short! How incredibly powerful to see a group of people work together on a common goal and come out on top.

Getting a group of people to work together for a common goal is probably one of the single most hardest things to do - but the rewards when it is pulled off is a testament to its power. It makes me look at my own life and wonder where should I be utilizing teamwork and its principles and what should I be doing to be a better teamplayer? Because though I can accomplish some pretty neat things on my own, how much more successful would I and whatever I am working to accomplish be if those principles were utilized. It really is the only way to "win".

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