The Power of We
America as a society values the individual and places high priority on individualism. Each person’s success is judged and based upon their own skills, abilities, experience, and education. These are normally the criteria we evaluate employees on, as well as how we evaluate ourselves. While it is great to strive and achieve and work to be the best version of yourself you can be, is that a good measurement of success or evaluation from a company or management perspective?
In Japan (and several other Asian countries) that same high priority is placed on the collective and success of the work and family group as a whole. This leads to less internal competition and greater cooperation among different divisions of the company. This is where the adage “your group is only as strong as your weakest link” comes from. As an employee you could be astounding, the most knowledgeable person in your group, but in the end you are part of a group. Without everyone performing at an exceptional level, the reputation of your organization will still be subpar. Let’s look at a sales position. Your leads and appointments are based on the office staff who take the call and set your appointments. If they are unable to convert those leads you do not get to show off your amazing sales skills. If you sell your job, the responsibility moves to your installation team. If they do not deliver the superior quality you promised the customer the word will spread. If your reputation suffers you get less leads which means you get less sales.
Long story short, every member of your team is vital to your company’s success and ultimately your own success. This in no way means you should stop setting goals and doing what you can to stand out. It just means that you should also invest in the success of the team you are working with. Encourage and support your coworkers, offer assistance or mentoring when you can. A good leader and manager is not marked by their individual merits and accomplishment but rather on the collective performance of the group they are supporting.
Written by Tamara Collins