An African Proverb once said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others”.
During the course of my life, I’ve always had the mentality of, “if you want it done right, do it yourself”. Don’t get me wrong, I have always seen the value in teamwork through school sports and clubs. But the paths in my life have pushed me to rely on myself rather than to depend on others. The meaning of teamwork began to change in my ideology after attending my first Dale Carnegie Training International Convention. The convention is a biannual global event where employees of Dale Carnegie Training all over the world come together and consolidate on ideas and best practices to implement in their territories.
Even though I was fairly new to my position, I knew what was expected of me at the convention. I was to learn what others were doing and apply it to my own methods. I was there to learn what I could to do make myself and my team better. It sounds easy, right? Well it was much more complex that I originally thought. As I walked down the convention hallways, I heard a melting pot of languages and accents. Some of these I knew, but many I was unfamiliar with. My goals were set, though, and it was time to build my personal network. Being an extrovert, it wasn’t hard to start talking to people. I began connecting with people from all over the world. However, the more people I connected with, the more I began to realize how friendly and supportive everyone was. They weren’t there to talk about all their achievements or successes, they were there to offer whatever they could to help the “team”. The problem with my initial mindset was that it was self-focused. Yes, I am there to expand my own knowledge and practices, but I am also there to help others grow their franchises as well.
Next, I heard our President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, Joe Hart, on stage talking about how we are focused on becoming “One Carnegie”. Whether we lived in Brazil, China, South Africa, Bangkok, or the United States, in order to succeed, we need to grow together. He emphasized that we are all pieces to a larger picture of transforming lives, and to complete that picture we must be “all in”. We may be individual franchises, but we are all part of one brand, one company, and one global team. This is when teamwork really began to click in my head. Teamwork isn’t necessarily about splitting up the work, but it’s about everyone supporting each other to reach shared goals that no one could achieve individually. Teamwork is having a network of people to turn to when things get tough. It is building each other up and sharing ideas on how we can improve as individuals and as a group.
Before convention, my mindset was “What can I learn from experience?” However, after convention, I’ve realized that my mindset needs to be “What can I give to help my teammates succeed?” If I want to “go far”, I can’t do it alone; I have to go “with others,” as the old proverb goes. If you also live by the motto “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”, I challenge you to evaluate your attitude and to embrace the support of the team around you. We can only go so far on our own.