A Team’s Perspective

Teamwork is a matter of perspective.

Demands, threats, and force may help us accomplish our immediate goals, but dictatorship is not leadership. True leadership requires that others follow us consciously, voluntarily, and willingly. This requires a shared perspective.

In order for others to follow us by choice, of their own informed free-will, they need perspective. They need to see and understand why they should trust us, why they should follow us, and why they should do so enthusiastically.

They need to see how and why our mission is in their best interest, how it relates to their life, their goals, and their purpose.

Before we can expect others to see things from this perspective, however, we must first see things from theirs. If we do not understand who they are and where they are coming from, we may be able to push them to where we are trying to go, but we can not expect to lead them there.

If we want others to care about what we want, they must first know that we care about them.

Once it is clear to those we wish to lead that we not only understand their perspective, but that we actually care about them, their lives, their needs, and their goals, it is much easier for them to care about us and what we want or need from them.

In this place of shared perspective, the leader-follower dynamic is transcended and the team begins to form.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

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

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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