At the end of the game, pawns and kings go back into the same box.

— Italian Proverb

Given the current state of world affairs, dare I say this proverb is one our so-called leaders (everywhere) would do well to remember. But, this is not what I intend to write about.

We have leaders, Principals, CEOs, upper management — whatever their title or what you wish to call them — for a reason. They are there to pull things together, provide direction, take the flak, organise, delegate and maintain control. At the end of the day, we should respect them because their job is hard.

But, that respect should be mutual.

Regardless of our position, ranking or experience, we are all in the same boat, striving for the same goal (in an ideal world).

I used the boat analogy deliberately, to provide a lead-in to my example — my dragon boating team, Diamond Phoenix.

Within our team we have the usual hierarchy: coaches, assistant coach, captain, committee members and crew. Within the crew we have the broad spectrum of experience; from ladies who have been paddling for years and members who are so awesome and committed they have been selected (and not lightly) for the Australian and/or ACT representative teams through to very, very new paddlers who have never done this before.

Our crew comes from all walks of life, experience, fitness and a full range of ages.

In other ‘sport teams’ your experience and skill (or lack of) is likely to be a key factor in how often you are selected for a ‘race’ (or game); there may also be a pecking order or a clique-y feel.

Not so with Diamond Phoenix.

It does not matter how long a member has been paddling, how much experience she has or how skilled she is — everyone is treated the same (coaches included) and everyone pulls their weight. In competition, we all get a go, we celebrate together and we support each other through everything.

I may be biased, but I believe a lot of teams (management, groups etc.) should be taking a leaf out of Diamond Phoenix’s book.

This season, because of our team spirit and the inclusive attitude of our coaches, we have gone from strength to strength. Groups of women can be downright backstabby (yes, I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean) and bitchy. Women are generally not known for being nice to each other, particularly in large groups. Diamond Phoenix, as a team, goes totally against this stereotype. Feeling 2nd rate, or not good enough, is simply not an option. If it wasn’t for this, and for the supportive, inclusive nature of the team, I doubt I would still be there.

TEAM — Together Everyone Achieves More

There is too much posturing out there.

There is too much ‘bow to me because I’m the boss / more highly educated / on a higher pay grade / more experienced …’

No way! This needs to stop!

Teamwork — whether in sport, leisure, work or school — requires us all to be ‘cogs’ in the process; everyone, from the pawns to the kings. We all start out the same and, in the grand scheme of things, we all end up in the same box once we reach the ultimate finish line.

The journey, from beginning to end, should be equally shared, travelled, fought and celebrated by all participating members at all levels of the hierarchy.

Image courtesy of supakitmod at


Diamond Phoenix – hoo ya!

You ladies ROCK!


2 thoughts on “teamwork

  1. ‘TEAMWORK’ – A word that must be in our top ten for survival, self worth ,contentment, assertiveness and satisfaction!!
    A favourite spelling analogy for me is ,’There is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAMWORK’.
    It is my opinion that it is a principal role of parents and educators to impart the thinking that, ‘We are all in this together’. We all have our part to play on the chessboard of life. We all have worthwhile contributions to make. We need to listen to each other and take on board what we need to make ourselves better people.
    These quotes are ones that I frequently use when I’m wearing my teacher hat:
    ‘Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.’ ( I share the Salinas family tie-pin fashioned from wedding rings of people from the Salinas tribe that depicts gold sticks, tied together with curved gold sticks. Leo will pass it on to our eldest son, Paul, when he leaves our planet.) and……
    ‘No-one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.’
    What a wonderful example of genuine teamwork is exhibited by your Dragonboat members, Kellie!! Keep on rowing!!!!


    1. Teamwork in a classroom is so vital. My whole style of teaching changed (for the better I hope) when I undertook those Kagan Cooperative Learning courses.
      Sticks in a bundle are truly unbreakable … I will have to make a poster for that I think … for when I get back into the classroom.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s