Teamwork Means You Can't Pick the Side That's Right

BOOK: Teamwork Means You Can't Pick the Side That's Right
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Introduction

In the past hundred years, the word
committee
has morphed from a description of a group of people attempting to accomplish something useful into what we now generally perceive as an insult. In modern times, people view committee decisions the same way they might view, for example, Satan falling in love with a donkey and producing a child. Even the donkey wouldn't love that child.

Meanwhile, long ago, the people who did real work, such as raising barns, or passing buckets of water to extinguish fires, were taking full advantage of something called
teamwork
. It was a wonderful thing, and it propelled civilization forward. Teamwork earned an excellent reputation, while at the same time the world started to view committees as plagues on humanity.

Decades later, white-collar managers wisely borrowed the word
teamwork
to refer to the committee-like activities within their departments, and by that I mean the complaining, backstabbing, lying with PowerPoint slides, swilling coffee, shirking responsibility, and focusing on the wrong priorities. Managers hoped the word
teamwork,
with its decades of accrued goodwill, would inspire employees to act in selfless and coordinated ways toward common goals. That didn't work out.

While managers like to use the word
teamwork
for group projects, employees prefer more honest labels such as
weaselfest, skunk dance,
and a colorful term involving the word
cluster.
If you work in an office, it's a safe bet that the only time you use the world
teamwork
is when you're trying to manipulate a co-worker into doing his own work plus some of yours. If you can pull that off, you probably have management potential.

In today's modern workplace, teamwork has become a form of punishment. If you're not talented enough to work independently, your boss will make you pay dearly by putting you on a team full of people who are just like you. It won't be long before managers squeeze all of the goodwill out of the word
teamwork
and start looking for a fresh word to spoil. When that happens, I will happily mock the situation for your entertainment. Remember, you and I are on the same team. But I don't recommend bragging about it.

 

 

 

 

BOOK: Teamwork Means You Can't Pick the Side That's Right
7.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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