Which comes first: the dream or the team?
This question is like your chicken-egg – there is no absolute answer as to which comes first. But here’s my take regarding this no-beginning-no-end type of question.
The vision comes first. The vision is the catalyst that unites like-minded individuals into performing something greater than themselves. The destination stimulates the journey; and thus the vision is important so that the team has a common goal.
After all, what is a team without the common goal?
But then here comes a more important question. Which should be the FOCUS: the dream or the team?
Again, there is no definite answer. In the early stages of my still-being-honed leadership life, I believed that vision is all that matters.
It serves as that drug; that golden end which will justify all the means. Everybody loves a winner, everybody lusts for success in one form or the other. The vision is that very satisfying drug that will push anyone poisoned by it into delivering results.
Become a winner, then everyone will love you. If not, they’ll be forced to respect you. Everybody respects a winner, especially if the success is a hard-fought war.
No one can deny that a powerful vision strongly drives a team. However…
There is something we call a pyrrhic victory. This is a kind of victory wherein the cost is too much than the reward. In short, it’s not a victory at all. And this is the danger of focusing too much on the dream, not on the team.
John Maxwell, a well-renowned leadership author, wrote that we must focus on the team, not on the dream. Why?
My take on this is that yes, the destination stimulates the journey. But one must be take care of himself, or his team, to even reach that destination.
After all, what is a dream fulfilled when the team is so dysfunctional, that they don’t appreciate the journey anymore?
The dream gathers like-minded individuals with strong desire to fulfill it. But majority of the time, the team will undertake that very, very long and challenging journey to reach that destination.
There will be times that the vision will not be as crystal clear as before. But its clarity can be restored when you have a team complementing and pushing each other towards that goal. The law of teamwork says that as the degree of difficulty escalates, so does the need for the team to step up as well.
I’d rather prefer not reaching the destination if I am with a team so close, so bonded that in no time, another destination will stimulate us to action… than reach the destination without enjoying the journey with the team.
A strong team is bound to reach its dreams, as long as it keeps on trying. What is victory if it means losing your dream team?
Focusing too much on the vision turns it to a powerful poison. But focusing on the team to let the dream take care of itself? Magically the vision turns into the ultimate cure-all empowering elixir.
For basketball fans out there, you might have heard this quote from Jordan: “There’s no I in team, but there is in championship!”
I tell him, “There may be an I in championship, but there isn’t in DYNASTY.”
It takes not one, but two I’s to spell vision. The destination is just a stimulator to a long journey – the same long journey that is written in all the legendary tales of the most legendary teams.