A friend of mine daily sends out to his team leaders a short email highlighting something to think about. Thank you to Steve Pitts, a hospital administrator, for his commitment to actively give input to the personal development of his team.
This morning he sent the following story that describes how the spirit of teamwork can be created when everyone believes they are contributing as part of a team.
A man was lost while driving through the country and as he tried to reach for his map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn’t injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm and found a farmer who was eager to help.
“Warwick can get you out of that ditch,” said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, “Yep, old Warwick can do the job.” The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted,
“Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!”
And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch.
The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, “Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?”
The farmer grinned and said, “Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he’s part of a team, he doesn’t mind pulling.”
Are you responsible for a group, a team of people? Are you creating an environment in which each member believes s/he is not only a member of a team, but a contributing and vital member of a team? If yes, congratulations: you are undoubtedly reaping the benefits of high morale and productivity that are the result of teamwork!
If your answer was no, what can you do differently today to change the culture of your group, whether at work, in the community, at church, or even your family?
Your comments could be helpful to someone else. I would be delighted to read of your experience in working with a team.