The Individual Vs. The Team

teamwork, employee engagement
I recently read this article about a new school in Sweden. This school is built from the ground up to rethink learning to truly engage the learner at an individualistic level. And there is one line in this article that really caught me:
“We don’t want a school for all. We want a school for each and every one. There’s a big difference.”
I love that! Can you see the difference?
Many schools are for all. Everyone’s welcome. That is, if they’re willing to adapt to the environment, not rock the boat, and play by the rules. How many organizations make the same mistake? New hires are totally welcome here, as long as you mold to fit our design perfectly. This is a team environment, right? We’re in this together — and as we have been told for time immemorial, there is no “I” in team, right?
Let’s be honest: That saying is crap. There are as many ‘I’s in team as there are individuals on that team, because a team is made up of nothing but INDIVIDUALS. Therefore, for the team to thrive, those individuals have to thrive. And that’s what this Swedish school does so well.

In the end, it could be argued that Leadership has less to do with creating an environment into which people can fit, and a great deal more to do with creating an environment within which people can thrive, grow, test, challenge, learn and evolve. Inspire better individuals, and you create better teams.

Are you leading for all, or leading for each and every one? There really is a big difference.