Do you have personal goals?

Do you know what you want out of life?

Well first of all – congratulations – you are in the minority. 


But watch out – because there is an easy trap to fall into while you are so focused on your end goal.  It is all too easy to  put these goals ahead of those of the people around you. Whilst this is natural and isn’t always a bad thing, it’s important to understand why being a team player is integral to your success.


When you have a personal goal, if you fail, you’re the only person that suffers. This is obviously not good, but only affects you and makes it easier to deal with. If you’re part of a team, you have to prove your merit not only to yourself, but also to everyone you’re working with. When something is expected of you, there are no excuses!


 You either succeed or you fail. If you do fail, it’s much harder to rationalize your actions to a team you let down than it is to yourself. Even if your team understand and isn’t mad, it’s hard to swallow the fact you’ve let other people down. This is important because it teaches responsibility.


It teaches leadership. Good leaders do not act solely as individuals. Leaders bring people together. The best leaders don’t act with a sense of superiority; they act with a sense of empathy.


You will gain respect. Being able to work well with others is a quality a lot of people look up to and respect. Your team will look at your individual actions and these actions have an impact on what it is you are trying to achieve as a team. If you’re reluctant to do something to help your team, it’ll be evident and your contribution will be less appreciated. Having a genuine interest in your team helps you as well as those you’re working with.


If you’re on a team, your personal success helps make you a team player. This is because most people are at least a little bit competitive, whether they admit it or not. When you do well, you set a standard that others will want to meet. By pushing yourself, you help push the people on your team. Of course, this works both ways. When you see someone you’re working with do something better than you, you’ll push yourself to meet that standard.


You can’t do everything for yourself. If you work in a position that requires creativity and insight, you will no doubt have days when these things are in short supply. In an isolated situation, it can be difficult to overcome these mental roadblocks to your own success. Working within a team gives you access to other minds besides your own, minds that may be having great ideas at the very moment that you are not. Great minds working together can create a net of creativity and could maybe even inspire your own.


Being a team player is also a quality high up on a managers list when it comes to hiring or promoting staff.  If you tend to shine at the expense of others – chances are you will stay a superstar in your own little universe.  However if you are instrumental in helping your team to shine then it will come back to you in droves and help you move on in your career.


To sum up: acting as a part of a team builds character, teaches empathy, and ultimately achieves company and your own individual goals. All of these things, in turn, are integral to your continued personal success.

Tom Duffy