The Recruitment Underground Blog

Career Skills, Training and Transitions

There’s No “I” In Team But There Is “Me”

Posted by jamesseetoo on August 24, 2009

Well, the NFL is back on the air with the beginning of pre-season football. The sound of plastic smashing into large bodies traveling at high speeds is a sure sign of the turning season. Inflated oval balls spiraling down a 100 yard field to waiting hands interrupted by the loud crunch of bodies hurtling this way and that at nearly superhuman speeds stopping abruptly through contact with a larger body or plastic artificial turf reminds me that America’s favorite sport is back.

Now I have to say, that as far as pro sports go, football is my favorite. (I haven’t yet received my apology for the last baseball strike so I can’t support major league baseball.)

But there’s a reason why America loves football. It’s the quintessential team sport. Yes, on the lower levels one or two players can dominate a game but in the pro game that really doesn’t happen and those teams that have one dominating player never win championships. Essentially, a pro football team can’t function unless everyone does his part.

And that’s what people will tell you on the job, where sports analogies abound.

So yes, you should be a team player.


But being a team player doesn’t mean that you can’t be a team leader and too many people think that it means do your job and you’ve done your part. Being a leader means going above and beyond your job. Do what you need to to do consistently well. And try to find a better, more efficient way of doing it. Even if it means doing something manually. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone spend two hours looking for a telephone number on-line when a simple call to information would have taken two minutes.

So it goes back to basic leadership and again, you don’t have to be in charge to be a leader. I think Dick Winters the World War II officer made famous in “Band of Brothers” had the best definition. He said it came from a sign he saw in training that read, “Follow Me.”

I think too many people think being a leader automatically means being the “star”. When you think about it, the quarterback might be the greatest passer in history but even Tom Brady would have a hard time making any passes flat on his back with a 300 pound lineman lying on him. You think Michael Vick is hoping that he doesn’t have any dog lovers blocking for him?

The best leaders do what they have to do to get the job done. This means that when he has to, the quarterback throws a block or makes a tackle.

One of the episodes this brings to mind is when we had implemented a new applicant tracing system and there was no consistency in opening a job req which in turn meant all types of compliance issues. In order to give ourselves some breathing space and get people trained properly I volunteered to open all the reqs myself until everyone was on the same page which added an extra 10-15 hours to my week. But I had a great team and they followed my lead and volunteered to help which helped the group as a whole. They were stars in my eyes for picking up on the example I was trying to set.

So how do you stand out while still being a team player? You go above and beyond and consistently do your best. Never just phone it in. Because if you do just phone it in you should find something you like better. Since it’s better to leave than to be cut.

Remember, your skills are your job security.

James Seetoo

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3 Responses to “There’s No “I” In Team But There Is “Me””

  1. […] View original post here: There's No “I” In Team But There Is “Me” « The Recruitment … […]

  2. James,
    This is a fantastic site.I found some of the articles very informative. I can’t wait to read more….

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