TEAMWORK
  • Communicating information, sharing assignments and working cohesively with the FFL team
  • Appreciating and leveraging the strengths of others, relying on them for help, input and feedback
  • Volunteering to help someone else complete a task without expecting credit for it

COMMENTARY
I'm not one for sports, sports statistics, or sports allegories. So, my particular way of discussing the GuideMark of Teamwork isn't going to be full of phrases like "there is no I in team," "teamwork makes the dream work," or "there's no crying in baseball." What I will do is discuss how I see teamwork lived out both at home and in the workplace.  
 
With my aversion to sports firmly established, the best example I want to give is a healthy community. Community, like family, can recall a myriad of emotions and ideas in people. Depending on experience, how one views community can be encouraging or downright discouraging. I believe people are affected either positively or negatively by community and teamwork because they both are founded on trust. And when trust doesn’t exist, having a healthy team and community is next to impossible.  
 
Two things come to mind when discussing teamwork: Common goals and esprit de corps. By the power of my extensive googling skills, I have unearthed the meaning of esprit de corps: as a feeling of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by the members of a particular group; the common spirit existing in the members of a group and inspiring enthusiasm, devotion and strong regard for the honor of the group.  
 
People in a healthy community care for others, and provide support and selfless acts for each other. They take care of each other and their city without expectation of reward or recognition. There is little "I" thinking and more "we" thinking (phrase stolen from this very good TED talk about teamwork).  
 
And to make this not sound like Pleasantville where everyone gets along and there's no color in the world, being selfless is not a natural action to the majority of people. Selfishness can be a knee-jerk reaction and it's hard to put our own needs aside. To help combat selfish desire, it's important to note that a healthy community has a shared vision to which they work. Examples being: improving education, provision of food, medical needs and the arts. Obviously, much more goes into a community than these examples. The point is education or the arts will not happen without people coming together to selflessly make it so (Jean-Luc Picard anyone?).  
 
One of the first things that struck me when coming to work at Funds For Learning is the sense of community. The culture here is truly saturated with teamwork. The previous company I worked at for 10 years slowly became marked by siloed thinking. People were not seeking help (or worse withholding help) and people were not trusting co-workers because of the pay-for-performance structure which ended up pitting employees against each other. It was a toxic culture that broke trust. I saw that teamwork can be plastered on posters and documented in memos but if it's not lived out by the people, it's just words that management said to read. But here at Funds For Learning, teamwork is much more than words -  it is actions shared by all. The genuine care for our clients is seen by a shared vision to assist everyone in receiving funding quickly year after year.  We want schools and libraries to work towards their vision: educating our communities.  

For more on my understanding of sports please give this clip a listen.
 
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Key Words and Phrases
Reliance and interdependence; Common goals; Shared responsibility; Cooperation; Mutual accountability; Blended strengths; Esprit de corps; Trust in one another.

Opposite Terms
Going it alone; Not trusting others; Not supporting others; Not relying on others.

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