The Importance of Teamwork

So, it was brought to my attention the other day that one of our crew members would not help out one of his teammates. It was a simple request and he was too busy trying to finish his work so that he could go home that he did not help out. In an operation that is individually based but surrounded by teamwork, that can’t happen.

Or so I thought, right? For a crew member to set aside the team for himself is just not going to work. Why? Because in our operation the workload is the workload, whether we have all 10 of the crew show up or only 8. We have to get it all done with less. When people are told their garbage is going to get picked, it needs to get picked up. Period.

When we are short staffed we rely on each other to pull together to finish well and to finish strong. That is what makes us successful…or failures. And that is what separates the great ones from just the average. Being a teammate that someone can county on is invaluable.

This leads me to another thought on how teamwork is valuable from another angle. Maybe it is me but I never wanted to get fired. Who does, right? My goal was to so valuable to an organization that they had to keep me around. Sort of like a chameleon, I would pay attention to the company internal workings, serve areas that needed serving and always work within the system.

That did not seem to hard to do. Another trait about me is that I like to serve. So, I would do my work but also would help make my co-workers lives easier. It was a way to serve others, let them know that they could count on me, while making myself a valuable teammate. If I was helping build up the team, why would they want to throw me off the team?

Too often I see people look out for themselves and not their team. We have had job applicants cut off customers in our lobby dropping  off their application. WHAT?!?!?! Ugh, that is not going to work. What is the thinking behind those actions? Who wants a selfish teammate?

My brain works overtime trying to find out where that thinking comes from? Competition and “survival of the fittest” I can understand but not when it comes to your own team. If you want to be on a successful team and are team centered, you will help your teammates. It is that simple. DO they think by focusing on themselves that they are being a good teammate?

Aristotle said “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. So, if your on a team but not a huge part of the team, you may want to get on board, as you might not be on the team much longer. Why do so many people miss that? You still have to get your job done but if you help you teammate in the process, what is wrong with that? That is the team I want to be on, a that is a TEAM!

What kind of teammate are you? Are you a selfish teammate or will you go the extra mile for a teammate so that they want you on their team? That can be the difference from winning the Super Bowl and finishing just 8-8, average….


Author: Damon Shea

Currently, I operate a waste hauling and recycling company in Northeastern California and I am also working through an eMBA program. Per one of my courses we are emerging ourselves into social media and that is my main purpose behind blogging and all of the other social avenues that I am involved with. My blog will focus on the waste & recycling industry and any subject matter within. Born into the waste hauling business, I have been playing in and around garbage containers since a child and am not afraid to haul away what you throw out. As a leader/manager, I have found that it is the people who do the work and not the equipment, so I have focused on understanding all peoples, especially my team. About me personally, I am of Italian/Irish decent, Roman Catholic. I am the youngest of three children and am now married with a beautiful strong wife and two awesome girls. Through my job, I am a member of Rotary International and I also sit on the board of our local Chamber of Commerce. We are heavily involved with building up the community that we serve and will do all in power to make garbage and recycling an easy process. Together we can explore the myths and realities of the waste & recycling industry and perhaps still make the world a better place.

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