Teamwork: No Cool Kids, Every Player Counts

I’ve always loved this question: “What’s the most important leg of a 3-legged stool?” The answer is, of course, obvious.

How about this question, though: “Who’s the most important member of a team?” Isn’t the answer also—all of them?

I’ve had some Big Bad Voodoo Daddy music for years and often jump right into it when exercising. Today, though, I decided to watch this terrific group here:

Big Bad Voodoo

I was mesmerized. Not just by the musical talent, of which I have none, but the TEAMWORK.

Go ahead, watch the super fun 4-minute video of the timeless, “I Wanna Be Just Like You” from the 1967 classic Disney movie, Jungle Book. Trust me—YOU. WILL. LOVE. IT.

As you watch, ask yourself this: Who is the most important Voodoo team member?

Pianist? Lead singer with a guitar? Drummer? Trombone player? Saxophone gents? Bongo man? Trumpet peeps? Super cool, bass-playing dude?

The audience???

(Every performer knows that you must have an on-fire crowd to be your best!)

Personally, I think the teamwork in this video—a high level of synchronization of all moving parts critical for success to happen—is stellar. Maybe even … Outstanding!

Effective Team Formula

When we were writing Outstanding! I asked Molly, our twentysomething daughter, who loves soccer and basketball and has served as a captain in both sports, “Molly, in your opinion, what makes an effective team?”

I was honestly just curious what she’d say; it wasn’t like I was doing serious research for a book or anything. But I loved her answer:

“Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job well.”

And, may I add, every team member using his or her God-given talent to shine—so the team can perform at the highest level possible.

Outstanding Team Members

We say this in the QBQ! book:

Would you watch a bald eagle soar and say, “I wish he could swim the seas like a dolphin”? Would you look at a dolphin and hope it someday might reach the heavens like a giraffe? Would you think, Why can’t the lion run as fast as the cheetah? No, of course not. How ridiculous.

Are you on teams with people who are different from you? Of course. And each person is needed. Period.

Every person in an organization plays an essential role in that organization’s success. And even though some have more responsibilities, grander titles, and bigger offices, there are no “cool kids.”

Who Matters Most on the Team?

Picture high-level executives with broad and far-reaching positions trying to do their jobs without everyone else doing theirs. Whether it is the receptionist managing phone calls, the IT person keeping the systems running, or the maintenance crew maintaining the building’s air conditioning and heating, that exec fails without these people doing their cornerstone jobs.

So, returning to our Voodoo gents, I ask this:

If the lead singer is the CEO, could he alone create a musical performance like you witnessed in the video?

Nope. Because the truth is this: Every player counts.

Is this true in your organization?


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