This past year, I had the honor and privilege of serving on the Institute for Cultural Communicators‘ 2012-2013 National Student Leader Council (NSLC). The responsibility of the NSLC pertains primarily to supporting ICC’s student leadership programs. Not only have I been able to support and serve ICC and its student leaders, but I have also learned much from this opportunity, especially regarding teamwork. Here are five lessons I’ve learned about teamwork as a result of serving on the NSLC:
- A team is one unit. I know this might sound a little obvious, but serving on the NSLC has shown me just how true this is. As a team, we are not individuals all working toward the same goal. We are one unit (made up of individuals) working toward a goal. Individuals give character to the team, but ultimately a team has to be unified to be effective.
- Teammates focus on each other, not themselves. It’s a common saying: “There is no ‘I’ in team.” Being a good teammate means ignoring what you want and what’s best for you and instead focusing on your team members and thinking about what’s best for them and for the team as a whole.
- Teammates love each other. Just because you’re on the same team doesn’t mean you always work well together. Sometimes your teammates will annoy you or frustrate you. But as a team, you have to love each other in spite of your differences and difficulties. And when you do that, you end up appreciating your team even more than before.
- Teammates need each other. The idea behind a team is that you’re not alone; you have people working alongside you. I’ve seen just how true this is as I’ve worked on the Council. Whether it’s planning a conference call or discussing a policy, we have to work together; we can’t do it alone!
- Teams are not exclusive. As the NSLC, we are given special responsibilities. But this doesn’t mean that we have to be our own exclusive club. In fact, part of being a team means reaching out to those not on your team. And that brings even more joy than only hanging out with “your team.”
Serving on the National Student Leader Council has taught me so much. I love my team and am so thankful for all of the lessons I’ve learned!