Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Consider these quotes from famous coaches…
When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.
- Penn State Coach Joe Paterno
“The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
- Vince Lombardi
“When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when you team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.”
- Bo Schembechler
Teamwork is about surrendering our individual needs to the needs of the team. A contract where you discard ego and personal needs and pour all of your effort towards the teams’ needs with the expectation that, in helping the team do well, you will do well. The result is a “team effort” that helps Penn State win the big game. Success that doesn’t credit the quarterback or coach alone. And to suggest otherwise openly would be to break that contract between team and individual.
So what happens when an action by a team is so disastrous, a whole school sports program can be suspended. Essentially wrecking it. An action like the child abuse scandal at Penn State?
Well, now that punishment is about to be handed out, including possible suspension from playing, suddenly everyone is an individual again. “What about the students?” “What about the kids who didn’t know and signed on to Penn State? Do you want them to sacrifice and suffer? “Get them (Penn State senior leaders), not me.
Coaches talk about team. And the need to stay a team, even when the chips are down. And for that, individual players sacrifice for team decisions all the time. A coach tells a player to make a play that breaks an ankle to score the game winning point. Soon after, the player hears, “Gee, thanks for doing your best, but we have to give your scholarship to someone else (to ensure the success of the team).” Players begrudgingly accept their fate because they believe the needs of the team is above any one player.
The leaders at Penn State like Joe Paterno (coach but part of a team) made choices they felt that would help the team succeed. And it did for 14 years by hiding a horrible child sex scandal. They have to pay the price. And part of that price is that individuals, part of the team, also have to pay the price. A leader of a team, knows the the burden of command. Your actions have consequences and determine the fate on those that depend on you. Even if those consequences come 14 years later.
Cause there is no “I” in team. Or in college sports, no “I” in death penalty.