“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” –Mia Hamm, Olympic and World Cup Soccer Player
The 2012 Summer Olympic Gamesbegan on Friday, July 27 in London and will last through August 12. Every four years I get excited to watch the games. Everything from swimming to gymnastics to beach volleyball sucks me in for hours on end. Maybe my ultra competitive nature is why I love the Olympics so much or maybe it’s because I played every sport possible when I was a kid and it brings back fond memories. Either way, lately I have realized my great admiration for individuals coming together at the games to create remarkable achievements as one.
On any given day, a different athlete can shine. In fact, the Men’s 4×100 meter freestyle relay event at the 2008 Olympic Games showed just that when Jason Lezak, the oldest man on the U.S. swimming team at that time, pulled off one of the great comebacks in Olympic history, hitting the wall just ahead of Frenchman Alain Bernard to win the race. Lezak’s remarkable effort not only gave himself the fastest relay split in history, it moved The United States out of second place to win the gold, and was part of Michael Phelps’ eight gold medals in Beijing, a record no other Olympian has ever achieved in one Olympic games. And just last night, Michael Phelps made history again with the help of his 4×200 meter freestyle relay team, by winning his 19th Olympic medal to become the most decorated Olympian in history.
Phelps and his teammates showed us once again that we all bring something different to the plate. In business, just as in sports, on any given day a different member of the team can shine. This Olympics has made me take a look at my own team and realize how we all contribute to our company’s success in different ways. From innovative thinking at brainstorms to creative writing skills to positive “can do it” attitudes, all of our individual talents have made our team have a very successful start to the first half of the year. And, I am confident our team accomplishments will continue to cultivate as we compliment each other’s strengths because teamwork – whether on the soccer field or in the conference room – is the most important aspect of any group environment. Just as Mia Hamm said, “the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”Tagged Meg Schulte, Morningstar Communications, Olympics, teamwork