“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
— Phil Jackson
The team is not your enemy. As frustrating as individual members of the team may be, those individuals aren’t your enemy either.
Sometimes your boss seems like an enemy. They’re confrontational. They don’t communicate intent. They micromanage. “Get out of the way and let me do my job!”
Sometimes a subordinate seems like an enemy. They can’t see the big picture. They’re over-focused on details. They don’t do what I want the way I would do it. “Just figure it out and get things done already!”
Sometimes a peer seems like an enemy. They nitpick every solution. They overcomplicate everything. They can’t keep up with the rest of us. “Stop bugging me, I’m trying to get stuff done!”
Guess what? You won’t win on your own. You need the team, and every member of the team is supposed to be working together towards the same goal. That’s how you’ll win.
The enemy is out there, somewhere else. They’re outside the team and they’re competing for the same prize. They’re smart and hard-working, too, so this team better bring its A-game if you want to win.
Stop looking at your teammates as adversaries and start looking at each member as a critical asset. If you want to be part of an elite team of high performers, you need to positively engage with the whole team and understand the challenges they face. You need to figure out how you can help resolve issues for your peers, your subordinates, and, yes, your boss too. Be the person who makes everyone around you better.