When Romy Camargo was shot, by all accounts, it was a miracle that he came off the battlefield alive.
Romy, a former Green Beret, was ambushed several years ago operating in southern Afghanistan. He was shot through the neck while in the back of Humvee. He was bleeding out.
His team that saved his life. Make no mistake—Romy is a great warrior, but when he fell, it was the collective action of his team that saved his life and ultimately created the conditions for him to come home. Romy learned how to breathe on his own again, moved back into his house, and created a spinal cord injury non-profit center. All of this can be traced back to the power of his team.
And this is true for every high performer. Amazing things are achieved based on the performance of your team. Why? Because no one wins alone. And that’s true for you, too.
Remember this—no matter how talented you are, no matter how dedicated you are, how great your plan is, how wonderful your skills are, no one wins alone.
Eventually someone’s going to roll a grenade into the room and if you don’t have a strong team, you’re going to go down. You may go down with self-sabotage or because people don’t follow you. And in those times, a team that has your back and collectively moves toward the shared vision is absolutely essential.
What is it that made Romy’s team so powerful? Why does that work? As humans, we have a natural ability to group, form teams, and overcome things that mother nature throws at us. We are wired for teamwork. Serotonin, oxytocin, even cortisol course through our bodies to promote positive and negative behaviors around teaming and grouping.
We all instinctively seek out teammates, but I want you to do it with cognizant skill. I want you to appreciate and understand the power of teams. The next time you catch yourself becoming a martyr for the cause, remember you’re not hurting anyone but yourself and the people you’re trying to serve. Teams are necessary to fulfill on high performance. I’ll say that again. Teams are necessary to fulfill on high performance.
Let’s pull this apart and talk about the power of teams and what you can do to set yourself up for success.
First, you need to evaluate the teams you have now, starting with your family.
We forget about this team all the time. We focus on our job, on our communities, but where’s the most basic unit of teamwork in our life? At home. What is your team concept at home? Is it strong? Is it weak? If the team is weak at home, the team will be weak at work.
Really look at your family and do a diagnostic evaluation. Is it tight? Do you have each other’s backs? Do you play positions for each other? Do you know what their goals and dreams are? Those are general questions you can ask yourself. If you don’t know the answers, your team dynamic is challenged.
Next, I want you to look at your work—what does that team dynamic look like? I’m working with several corporate organizations right now at very high levels and their team dynamic is very collectively challenged. They acknowledge it and they’re working on it. But until you actually step back, take a breath and look at your team, you won’t know.
Next, look at outside groups that you work with. For example, if you’re in the mortgage industry and you have to work with other realtors or attorneys, or if you’re a financial adviser and you work with CPAs. What do those team dynamics look like? Strained? Non-existent?
What you’re looking at now are out-groups. We started with our in-groups. Now, look beyond your comfort zone at the out-groups you work with.
Here’s my standard of a team. My buddy, Captain Will Lyles, lost his legs in combat. When the aviation guys landed to pick him up he was bleeding out and turning gray. Now, aviators are a different group than the Green Berets. It’s an out-group and a lot of times there’s tension between them. But, in that moment they saw that if they didn’t get Will to the hospital in a matter of minutes, he was going to die. People on the ground at the field hospital said that when that helicopter was flying in, it was red-lined and being flown so hard by the pilots that pieces were falling off in mid-air. That’s teamwork. That’s the standard.
Humans are goal oriented creatures and if our teams are not collectively performing to meet the shared vision, is it really a team?
Figure it out and let’s get to work. Until next time, I’ll see you on the Rooftop.
Scott Mann is a former Green Beret who specialized in unconventional, high-impact missions and relationship building. He is the founder of Rooftop Leadership and appears frequently on CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business News, and many syndicated radio programs. For more information, visit RooftopLeadership.com