“In Africa there is a concept known as Ubuntu – the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others.” — Nelson Mandela
I Am Because We Are
As your business grows and you start achieving a certain level of success, at some point, you are going to have a team that helps you keep your business moving forward. For some business owners, running and managing a team is a liability. For others, they thrive in a team environment.
Ubuntu and Its’ Role In A Champion
The word “Ubuntu” loosely means “I am because we are.” This word first came to my attention from Boston Celtics basketball coach Doc Rivers. Coming off a season where the Celtics played terribly, Doc Rivers had the pleasure of attaining two of the greatest players in the league during the offseason of 2007. Doc already had a great player in Paul Pierce. Now he had Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen too. They were immediately dubbed “The Big 3”.
Any manager or business owner can relate with having to deal with egos (we all have them in various shapes and sizes) on your team. Doc Rivers had 3 huge egos to deal with and a short time frame to bring it all together and make them gel as a unit. Doc Rivers had heard the phrase “Ubuntu” at a meeting at Marquette University. After learning a little bit more about its’ meaning, Doc knew that this was the perfect concept for his new team to base their season around.
We Crave Purpose
The majority of the people on your work team crave purpose. Daniel Pink’s book Drive states that purpose is one of the three primary drivers for success. The concept of Ubuntu helps to illustrate that in a teamwork setting, the idea is to work towards a greater purpose.
This is why setting objectives is so important to your organization. By doing this, you set a purpose for your organization and illustrate that everyone is working towards a greater goal. No one can reach the objectives of an organization by themselves. Not the owner or the CEO or the top sales person.
Is teamwork a way of life in your organization? Does your team work with each other or against? In 2007, Doc Rivers had to get a bunch of talented individuals to play as a team and make sacrifices while also maintaining their individuality. The result? They won a championship at the end of that season.
What can teamwork do for your business this year?