There’s a proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The world needs many kinds of talents to make it a better place for all. We all have different abilities, but together we have the power to help each other be successful.
Just think of how much more could be accomplished in the world if there were more leaders helping others strive to use their talents to the best of their abilities. By the way, teammates don’t want to be managed; they want to be led. They want to understand a vision, a “why” that inspires them, and they want to be part of a solution that is greater than one’s self.
So, help others up when they fall down; praise them in front of the entire world when they succeed. When they go off course, pull them aside without anyone around and discuss a course correction—but whatever you do, don’t try to manage them. If you help them be more successful, they will help you be more successful. Simple logic, isn’t it?
Success is All About the Person to Your Left and Right
I’ve mentioned previously that, despite the 1980s-vintage movie genre, there are no Rambos, no lone soldiers, on a SEAL team. Rambos get people killed. SEALs succeed by remaining committed to their teams. It’s the same with almost every aspect of your personal, family or work life—it takes a team.
Crossing an ocean, even in so-called solo journeys, requires the help of more than just one person—and not just any kind of person; you need a team that is competent and confident. In anything significant that I’ve accomplished, I needed to team up with other people who were great at the things I wasn’t great at.
In addition to complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, teammates play another important role—they can help when you’re feeling stuck. A great teammate can be the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling defeated. Teaming up is an essential step in accomplishing your dreams.
To Lead is to Serve and to Serve is to Care
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I focus on serving—both as a leadership principle as well as a personal mindset for success. Service is a great way to be of value to others, but also as a means of getting unstuck when facing obstacles or uncertainty.
Every time I’ve gotten stuck, I thought about who I could serve—Who could I give to, without expectation of return? In the early days, that was being a Special Olympics coach at the Naval Academy, working in Easter Seals in SEAL Team, and working with the Guardsmen—a nonprofit to help inner city kids go to camp in San Francisco. Every time I got focused on something else, serving somebody else, it came back to me 10-fold.
If you look inside both of my books Be Unstoppable and Unstoppable Teams, it’s to my four boys. What can I give to them if everything else just totally craps out on me? I’m going to give them the gift of what I’ve experienced and how I’ve ever been able to succeed in anything—my secret weapons—persistence and teams. Book one, Be Unstoppable, is all about persistence, and book two, Unstoppable Teams, is how to team up for success.
So, if you’re feeling stuck, look for ways that you can serve and be a benefit to others. If you know someone who could use some inspiration during these challenging times, pass along these words of encouragement. Now, more than ever, we must persist and team up. Let’s choose to go far, together.