One of the most important qualities for any member of the workforce today is the ability to work in a team. The Lone Ranger mentality no longer flies in corporate America. Only those persons who have developed their human relations skills are genuinely long-term desired employees. I have witnessed this business leadership dynamic over many years. If anything, the emphasis on high-performing teams is greater today than at any prior time.
One of the latest examples of this emphasis arose from the University of Kansas Medical Center in its programs to educate doctors in preparation for the real world. Alan Bavley describes this important teamwork dynamic (“KU Med Seeks an Upgrade” The Kansas City Star, 12/29/12, pp. A4–A5):
“Medical education is adopting the same kinds of techniques used by the airline industry, training people as teams so they learn to work together, communicate better and avoid making errors. ‘That’s the future of high-stakes education’ [staff member Dr. Glen] Cox said.” (A5)
Cox is correct. Nowadays, most accredited degree programs include a learning-team component. Colleges and graduate schools recognize the importance of giving each student multiple team-immersion experiences. The most important reason for this is obvious—the real world works in teams. In corporate America, no one is an island. We need each other.
It makes no difference how smart or visionary you or I may be, unless we have the ability to collaborate successfully. Even though “team” contains no “I”, every team has a lot of “I”s. Nevertheless, synergy will never happen unless those individuals know how to work together.