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The “I” in Team

How do we define “team”? Are we on one? Do we need to play on one to be part of one? My brief foray back onto a sports team reminds me that I and we are always part of a team–our life’s team. We are each the captain of our own life’s team and we consciously or unconsciously pick the players and co-captains. Our organic life team is learning to understand the ebb and flow of being the Captain, the co-captain, the player, and the bench warmer.

Yes, we are always the Captain of our life and if we lead our lives realizing the “I” in team and embracing both our lives reveal themselves to truly be richer for it. Things happen that are unexpected, out of our control but our responses, our reactions, are always our choice. The boundaries we set for what is possible and what is not is our making. Others including our co-captains, our players, our team’s managers (parent’s, bosses) can tell us what they think is possible or “Ok” but ultimately is up to us and us alone.

I hear a lot of people who have the role of middle managers in their organizations. These are the folks that have their own bosses and their own teams of people that report to them. These folks usually have the most challenge in managing up, down and sideways (stay tuned for the next blog). They feel as though they must say yest to their boss/captain and say yes to their direct reports or sometimes get caught between the two. I encourage them and I encourage you to try the following exercise:

Who is on your team in your personal life? Who makes up your team–co-captains, bosses/parents/elders, players, bench warmers?

How did you choose your team? In our professional lives we often think we didn’t choose our work colleagues or our bosses but guess what–we do. We choose them and they choose us. Our choice is to believe that others decided who is on our work team and for some of us we choose to believe that others decided who is on our Life’s team.

I ask you to consider that we have the power within us and that is all we need!


About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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