Teamwork is a word often used by many who stand on the sideline while others actually do all the work. These people have all the advice, but no history of accomplishments. Usually, the one who mentions how people need to come together as a team is the first to declare that he or she is not interested in being a part of what they consider a weak team.
They feel that if they can help stack their team with overachievers, their chance of winning is greater. On the contrary, their chances are weak because they are actually hoping that a strong team will simply overcompensate for their weakness and mask their lack of character. Therefore, the strength of the team becomes tainted with the spirit of the critic, which will eventually show up.
True teamwork is rarely understood from the standpoint of the critical follower. These people will stand on the sideline and tell others what should be done, but they are unwilling to take the helm for fear of their criticism being discovered as sheer folly. The follower is just as important as the leader. When the leader develops a team, the team must adhere to the instructions of the leader, systematically coming together to help not only the leader, but also the team’s effectiveness.
A team does not truly exist without a leader; but a leader can never lead without followers. Every person should seek to discover ways of becoming effective as a follower before making an effort to become a leader. Good followers always make good leaders. Great followers have made great leaders; and rotten followers have become dangerous and stubborn leaders.
There is one more follower I would like to discuss before I close out this session – the silent follower. This kind of follower is quite dangerous to the overall morale of the team because they do their job, but never verbally contribute for the sake of camaraderie and building confidence in the leadership. They seldom have an opinion and are oftentimes vague when asked a question.
A good follower does not seek to do their job only, but they hunt for ways to aide others in becoming better at doing their jobs. They are fully aware of the fact that when only one out of the team accomplishes their task, it means failure for the team. As long as you are a part of a team, individual success may be applauded, but never truly respected.
People respect and history remembers men and women who sacrifice their individual accomplishments so that everyone can celebrate the team’s victory. Twelve disciples of Jesus sacrificed their dreams so that we can be redeemed to live ours.