“The human body is probably the most amazing example of teamwork anywhere. Every part needs the other. When the stomach is hungry, the eyes spot the hamburger. The nose smells the onions, the feet run to the snack stand, the hands douse the burger with mustard and shove it back into the mouth, where it goes down into the stomach. Now that’s cooperation!” (Joni Eareckson Tada).

TEAMWORK IS THE RESULT OF PEOPLE DOING THINGS THAT COMPLEMENT, OR COMPLETE, ONE ANOTHER’S WORK. It doesn’t matter whether a group is formally organized and called a “team” or not; the identifying characteristic is still the same: people do things, each helping the other, that accomplish a common goal. Joni Eareckson Tada’s analogy of the parts of a human body working together to get a hamburger is apt. Something similar to that always takes place when individuals pool their talents and function as a team.

Teamwork requires maturity. We won’t function well on a team if we haven’t grown up enough to get past selfishness and “itsy-bitsy thinking.” If our skill set contains only two responses to frustration — fight or flight — then we aren’t yet mature enough for teamwork.

Teamwork is difficult. The benefits of teamwork are amazing, but they aren’t free. There is a price to be paid. We have to determine that we’ll learn how to cooperate and work through difficulties and challenges to the team. Patience and perseverance are absolutely essential.

Teamwork requires humility. Teamwork isn’t for prima donnas or peacocks. It’s for people who have enough humility to contribute to a worthy endeavor in whatever way they can, whether they’re in the spotlight or not. Teamworkers are content for the team to get the credit.

In moments of success, we dare not forget that what has been accomplished has been, almost always, the result of collaboration. Rarely do we bring any project to completion without the help of some kind of team, whether large or small, and acknowledging that fact ought to be something we’re eager to do. Teamwork happens to be a good thing. It’s a privilege to be part of something bigger than our solitary selves.

“Success is a ruthless competitor for it flatters and nourishes our weaknesses and lulls us into complacency. We bask in the sunshine of accomplishment and lose the spirit of humility which helps us visualize all the factors which have contributed to our success. We are apt to forget that we are only one of a team, that in unity there is strength and that we are strong only as long as each unit in our organization functions with precision” (Samuel Jones Tilden).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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