November 30, 2009

Teamwork: All For One Or One For All?

"No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I suppose because all that rowing was always only about getting the shell across the finish line before the other team?

Maybe it's similar to the lack of attention paid to the effort of any one individual ant by all the other ants in the colony. If they don't all work, the colony dies.

But still, no praise for individual effort within a team?


  1. Ants and people are not the same.

    I don't know about rowing but if you don't praise business team members for individual effort, they won't be on your team for long.

  2. I agree with Sherry but the trick is to find a way to praise individual effort while not making other team members feel their efforts as a team were diminished.

    If the individual effort did not contribute to achieving the team's goals, it was not worthy of praise no matter how effective in other ways it might have been.

  3. The criteria should be, did the individual's contribution help the team or simply make them self look good? If the latter, no props.