RE: "Team Player" - Please Define?

Subject: RE: "Team Player" - Please Define?
From: "Murrell, Thomas" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2000 08:28:22 -0500

> From: Anthony Markatos[SMTP:tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com]
> Question for all listserv members:
> I am looking at a tech comm job listing that states that the future
> employee
> must be a "team player". What is meant by this? Specifics please.
> Digression: I have always been a firm believer in the old business
> saying,
> "Only two percent(2%) of all people [employees] are problem solvers, the
> rest are just along for the ride." My belief in such makes it very hard
> for
> me to envision a true "team" environment - where everyone assumes an equal
> portion of the more difficult tasks.
I'm not sure I would agree with the definition of "a true team environment"
given above. Either there are many different kinds of teams--some in which
everyone is expected to assume an equal portion of the more difficult tasks
and some where everyone has a defined role and the team functions smoothly
only when everyone performs their role effectively--or everyone doesn't
understand what a team actually is.

How successful would yesterday's Super Bowl teams have been if everyone had
had to assume an equal portion of the more difficult tasks. Should Kurt
Warner have had to block for Orlando Pace while Mr. Pace was scrambling
around trying to find a receiver? Apparently, the St. Louis Rams didn't
think so, and they seem to think they're a team.

Obviously, I would prefer a team be defined as a group of people, each
performing a function vital to the success of the whole group, all working
together toward a common goal. In that kind of a team environment, I would
be looking for a person who would willing accept their role in the team and
work to their utmost ability to perform their role effectively. That means
you run your pass route hard even when you know you're not the primary
receiver. That means you hold your fake when you don't have the ball. That
means you block your assignment every play, not just when the play is coming
right behind you.

I wouldn't expect every writer in a team to be doing the same thing or
sharing the difficult tasks. I would expect every writer to understand his
or her role and perform it effectively. That's what I would expect in a
team environment.

Tom Murrell

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