Who Needs You?: Working Together

A 2003 national survey revealed an interesting and surprising result. A representative sampling of Americans was asked this question: “What do you think is the most important factor in getting ahead in the workplace?” Ranked ahead of the expected answers such as “merit and performance,” “leadership skills,” “intelligence,” “making money for the organization,” and “working long hours,” was the top answer—“being a team player.”

Perhaps this was not so surprising after all. Almost anyone in the workplace today has heard of the importance of teamwork in business, and a myriad of books and seminars have touted the value of working in a team (perhaps you even work in a “team configuration” environment). Do we ...

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