On Teamwork and Winning

[Pocock] suggested that Joe think of a well rowed race as a symphony and himself as just one player in the orchestra. If one fellow in the orchestra was playing out of tune, the whole piece would be ruined. That’s the way it was with rowing. What mattered more than how how hard a man rowed was how well everything he did in the boat harmonized with the other fellows were doing…”If you don’t like some fellow in the boat, Joe, you have to learn to like him. It has to matter to you whether he wins the race, not just whether you do.”

To win a seat in the varsity crew means competing against every other person vying for that seat. Once you’ve won your place, it’s time to focus on the race.

But to win a race requires a different effort. Everyone must to pull together, in harmony – and it must matter whether the others on the team win too. That’s a critical transition that’s common in many team sports and in business.

Caring about the success of teammates is the essence of teamwork; it’s the soul of exceptional teams.

Tomasz Tunguz

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