You’re in my team or I’m in yours?

Weird title, isn’t it? Well, for people like me, it is a vital question. Now what’s people like ‘me’ here? Simple, people who tend to compare!! Compare themselves with others. Imagine a situation, two people working in a team. Me and one more person. Our characteristics (namely, strengths) are listed below:

Me: 1. Hardcore experimentalist, can’t accept abstract or non-feasible ideas

2. Good at executing things to the finest detail

3. Can criticize things freely

4. Have a small amount of experience in almost  every field

5. Very enthusiastic at starting new things

6. Not very daring when it comes to revolutionary (sometimes crazy) ideas
My team member: 1. Great at imagining abstract things

2. Not very worried about the details but overall, makes things look very good

3. A little reserved about both complimenting and criticizing freely

4. Very good at whatever is known

5. Not very enthusiastic at starting something new but once into it, gives it the best

6. Very daring at trying something completely out of the box………..

Now, it sure sounds like a very peculiar combination of people, doesn’t it? But the absolutely amazing thing is that the team works! With almost a 100% success rate at whatever the team decides to do! Surprisingly, the team started failing at things in between………..the reason, one team member started idolizing the other. To the extent that that member no longer wanted to be the way it used to be! Needless to say, that was me! A inferiority complex peeped in because I didn’t have those out-of-the-box ideas.

An inferiority complex stemmed out of the fact that I had nothing to contribute when it came to ‘intelligent’ discussions (that revolved around things such as the 4th dimension of space, space travel and parallel universes). As a result, the team started falling apart. The two members no longer worked in sync because one was always feeling inferior to the other!!!!!

The conflict flared up and reached a point where blame game began. And the team hit an all time low of performance. Thankfully, one day, the idiotic team member (that’s me) decided to think hard and the result: Realization that team work is about complementing each other and not comparisons amongst themselves.

Now, this little example was rather irrelevant in the larger context. What I essentially am talking about is TEAM EFFORT in general. Teams are formed (sometimes without much of a say from the team members) with members that are completely different from each other. All have their set of pluses and minuses. But in my opinion, the TEAM is NOT about what you or I can or can’t do! It’s much more about what WE can do! This “WE” is a word stronger than most of us will admit. Once the ‘you’ and ‘I’ and ‘she’ and ‘he’ get together and become ‘WE’, it’s hard for the team not to succeed.

Any team is likely to have its share of conflicts and if there weren’t any, I’d say the team comprises of either psychotics or total idiots. As one quote aptly says:

“It’s by universal misunderstanding that people agree. If everyone understood everything, they’d never agree”

The strength (and hence, longevity) of the team lies in RECOGNIZING the strengths of each other and NOT comparing! What one has to focus on is not what YOU or I can do, but on what WE can do! So, it’s not ME who’s on YOUR team or YOU who’s on MY team….


(PS: Thanks my team member for planting the idea in my mind for this blog)



  1. July 30, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Indubitable. This is aloud to all IIScians!

  2. Tata said,

    July 30, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Re: Item 4 of your qualifications. It translates into “Jack of all trades – but master of none”. – Love Tata

  3. karthuj said,

    July 30, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    nice post Pritesh ! you’ve listed some interested points here. In my opinion the traits that come across as most ‘ glamorous’ are not necessarily the ones that are most useful in a team environment. specially agree with your observation that ‘recognising not comparing’ must be the focus. really nice post !

  4. Ananth said,

    July 31, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Good Post. Your brand of Philosophy again 🙂

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