There is no “I” in team, but there is a “ME”

When I was at SXSW, the last session that I attended was Hitting Bombs: Better Social Business through Sports Metaphors, hosted by Tim Walker, Kyle Flaherty and Aaron Strout. It was a very interactive session with a lot of experienced individuals in the room sharing their favorite expression and how it related to their professional life, not generally specific to Social Media, but specific to specific situations in business. Great session and stories, thanks guys!

Fast forward to last night

I was watching the Red Sox game vs. the Texas Rangers. As you may, or may not know, the Red Sox have been in a slump, starting off the season 4-9, their worst start since 1996. Many players are slumping and not hitting, but I want to point to 1 specifically, Big Papi, David Ortiz. Last night he was 0-3 with 2 strikeouts, and for his 4th at bat, Mike Lowell came in and pitch hit for him. Mike Lowell ended up walking during the at bat, and the Sox ended up leaving the bases loaded during that inning. At the end of the inning, David Ortiz gave Mike a pat on the back, un-tucked his shirt and then went back down into the club house to take a shower. Now I would not have a problem with this if the game was over, but it was the 7th inning and the Sox were losing 6-4.

Fast forward to the next inning (bottom of the 8th)

Darnell McDonald (just called up from the minors) come up to the plate with a man on and hits a 2 run Home run to win the game. The Sox tie the game, and hold the Rangers during the next inning to no runs.

Fast forward to the next inning (bottom of the 9th)

Darnell McDonald comes to the plate with 2 outs and 2 men on, and hits a ball off of the Green Monster to make the game winning hit – the team meets him on second base, congratulating him, giving him high 5’s, celebrating, it was a great occasion to be a part of from a “Team” standpoint. Something that could have a long lasting effect on the way that younger and older players play, a good bonding experience (like the Varitek/ARod fight of a couple of years ago) but….where was David Ortiz?

During the celebration I was looking and looking for him, but I did not see him (if he was there, then I do apologize).

It is important to celebrate the good times, and also figure out how to get through the bad times, as a team. It is the same in business as it is in professional sports. We need to understand that we are not always on our game, and when we are not, expect to be “pinch-hit” for. We have all been there before, but the fact of the matter is that the Team comes first, and you do not.