John Maxwell – The Law of the Bad Apple:
As I read John’s Book, on the ’17 Indisputable Laws of Team Work’, he talks about how one bad attitude poisons the whole team. He gives a little checklist, of attitudes that we might hold, that are stemmed in selfishness and pride, that need to die. As I read them, I saw some of them in myself, so, I am going to share them with you, so that you can join me at the cross, and we can repent and think and act like Jesus.
1. Thinking the team wouldn’t be able to get along without you.
2. Secretly (or not so secretly) believing that recent team sucesses are really attributable to your personal efforts, not the work of the whole team.
3. Keeping score, when praises or perks are handed out to other team members.
4. Having a hard time admitting when you made a mistake? If you don’t believe you are making mistakes, you need to check this.
5. Bringing up past wrongs from your teamates.
6. Believe that you are being grossly undervalued or underpaid.
These are John’s list, but I got to thinking about how deceptive these attitudes are, and how sneakily they can enter our thinking.
Read a couple of great quotes that got me to thinking:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.
Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Perhaps you are more humble than I am, and a great team player, but I need to grow in this area. I have always been a bit of a ‘lone ranger’, isolating myself, in academia, and sports became self focused, in that the sports I competed in (swimming and triathlon) were generally me against the clock. I would go off into my own particular rhythm or zone, and simply competed, to be the best I could be. Though I had other teammates, where we encouraged each other, for the sake of the team, we generally all thought this way, seeking personal excellence, because when it was time to race, we were totally alone with the clock, even if there were other competitors fiercely pushing us on either side.
Attitudes can be like worms eating into the sweet fruit our lives should be bearing…
Read this illustration, and thought it appropriate here: Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.
Steve Goodier, Quote Magazine, in Reader’s Digest, May, 1990
Anyone else want to join me on my journey from independence, individualism, and introversion, to becoming a team player?
Desk sign at St. Louis Office Supply Company: “Don’t be indispensable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.”
‘Father God, I see how I often am in the press towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus, for my sake, instead of perhaps the best interests of your Body, Your Church, Your dream team. Forgive me for my selfishness, stinking thinking, and elitist, proud attitude. Help me to be the best I can be, in flowing with other leaders and team members, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’