Any team – whether academic, the arts or athletic – that strives to function at its optimum level, relies on each individual doing their absolute best.
An effort that doesn’t merely support the group’s intentions, but acts to raise the performance in all.
While this aspect of teamwork may be effective in optimizing current capabilities, it does not address maximizing overall capacity.
That is; realizing potential.
An altogether different venture. One that features challenges demanding a deeper level of personal investment. One that calls for a rare brand of leadership along with a redoubling of intention and effort.
Because when you are part of a team, realizing potential isn’t just about you.
It is about your teammate.
Like the one next to you at the FTC competition, forensics meet or Latin convention.
The cellist sharing your music stand in the pit or the actress next to you in the ensemble.
A teammate down low with you in the paint or holding tough on the blue line.
When you are on a team, it is about finding a way to bring out their best.
Exerting the leadership in and through yourself that leads others to find the best that is in themselves.
Launching them, the team and yourself on a trajectory of excellence and unparalleled success.
Leading others to uncover their talents and abilities will mean they come first.
Their needs ahead of your own.
You will need to give up some – maybe even all – of yourself in the process.
But this is not as traumatic as it sounds.
We are hardwired for this purpose – even if we find or invent reasons to ignore and override this basic and true function. When we turn the warmth of our light inward rather than letting it shine out and over others.
Yes, you might be committing some very personal resources towards the development of someone else’s potential.
But in the process, you cannot help but maximize your own. Leading others towards this level of achievement puts you on a parallel path.
So you both can unlock your potential.
True, unfettered teamwork in action.
Ultimately, it isn’t about what you may or may not get.
Allowing yourself to be drawn towards this larger purpose might be termed ’paying it forward’ or ‘giving something back’.
But essentially, it is just about getting back to the basics.
An opportunity, that given the time and patience, will reveal the best in both of you.
A return to your default settings.