Who Says There Is No "I" in Team?

What's all the nonsense about; there's no "I" in team? Everybody says so but for the life of me I can't figure out why. The way I see it, a team is nothing less than a whole bunch of I's.


A team is comprised of people, each of them a unique individual, an "I". The notion that we get together with others and suddenly shed our uniqueness for the sake of a common goal is absurd. Yes indeed, a team is a collection of "I's" and there are lots of advantages to it:

  • range of ideas- unique individuals bring their unique experience, expertise and perspective to the table. The result is a broader range of ideas to aid in reaching the goals the team seeks to achieve.
  • value of differences- since each team member is unique we do not all see things the same way. The resulting differences foster debate, exploration and diligence. In the end, the outcome is more deeply examined and the liklihood of achieving better results increases.
  • checks and balances- with all these unique contributors on a team there is a built in system of checks and balances. What one person fails to recognize may be picked up by another. The team is able to validate its efforts as a result of the uniqueness of its members. 
  • array of talents- much as each team member contributes unique ideas, likewise they each contribute unique talents as well. Each of us excels at certain things- the team benefits from the combined talents that its members possess.

As for that thing about there being no "I" in team- what they meant to say is that a team is an ego-free zone. After all it's not about "I", it's about the common goals of the team.

3 responses on “Who Says There Is No "I" in Team?

  1. Great post Ed. Healthy teams are such a great way to think outside of the box…get out of your own head. I find, based on the qualities you describe, many times, I do my best work when involved in teams.

  2. Ed Drozda says:

    Thanks Jen and when you are doing your best work with a team I am pretty sure they're glad that you (the I) showed up.

  3. Chris Bond says:

    That's a great point, Ed, especially about the ranges of ideas and differences. And I further agree that the best teams are ego-free zones!

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