Your Pain Is Our Pain

On a team, there is no such thing as a personal problem.

A team, in the truest sense, is an organically interconnected unit. It is a whole that is greater than its individual parts. Even if there are some redundancies and overlapping skills or responsibilities built into the structure, every piece is crucial to the overall function and success of the group. That means, if one person on the team is struggling, the whole team is struggling.

In a true team effort, it is the responsibility of any and all members to lift up, support, and strengthen every other member. A team lives or dies as a team. No one is left behind and everyone is responsible for everyone else. There may be a chain of command and there may be delegated roles and responsibilities, but, if a man or woman is down (literally or figuratively), it is up to everyone else to step up until the team is back on track, as a unit.

If a team member is having issues, either inside or outside of the team, that are negatively impacting his or her role within the team, and therefore the team itself, these issues are not his or her burden to bare alone. By definition, they become the team’s burden. It is the role of leadership to see these issues and address them before they go too far, but herein lies the catch. On a team, everyone is leadership.

“As in life, so too it is in budo. As in budo, so too it is in life.”

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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