Team Shmeam

“Teamwork” isn’t all it’s smacked up to be. What actually makes people quarrel is confusion about what “game” they are playing.

If we’re all playing basketball, and some guy comes along and joins the game, but he starts expecting us to follow football rules… well, it won’t be long before we start arguing. That’s because we would no longer be playing “basketball”—we’d be playing “basketball de facto football”… where we use basketball words, call it “basketball”, but, actually, it’s football.

Probably, we wouldn’t get along with that guy. He might start condemning us for “not being team players”. Actually, we are great team players, but, we’re a team at playing “basketball”, not “basketball de facto football”.

The only people who could get along with him, well, probably don’t like to call things what they are. His only friends—the “team players” as he refers to them—like to play football, call it “basketball”, and tell everyone else we’re stupid and “don’t play well with others”. Eventually, everyone leaves, new people join, the game is remade… and by the way, there aren’t too many fans who watch “basketball de facto football” because fans like to know the league and the rules of what they watch—fans like athletes who are honest about what they do.

I propose that most conflicts don’t stem from personality differences, but from a lack of self-honesty about our true goals. Opposite personalities will find a way to work together if they have the same purpose while complementary personalities will quarrel to no end if their goals conflict.

Maybe that’s why most Americans don’t like Moderate Republicans.

So, please, next time your organization is filled with conflict, drop the charades, stop wasting your time preaching about “team”, and play basketball.

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