A Teammate’s Pledge


This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest teams in the world. Photo by Georgia National Guard (flickr)

This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest teams in the world.

Photo by Georgia National Guard (flickr)

I admit that being a team player is a weakness of mine.  I’m a very independent person that’s always preferred working alone.  My reasoning is selfish: If I screw up, I can only blame myself.  There’s also the mantra “If you want to get something done, you have to do it yourself.”  Unsurprisingly, being a part of Kañanazo has been challenging.  My desire to be a leader in the dance-o-sphere compounds it.  Yet, practicing this routine given to us by bachata champions has given me a better idea of what it is to be a teammate.

As a member of the team I pledge…

To sacrifice my independence (to an extent) and rely on others

There’s not much to say here.  Look at ants.  As much as I like going solo, you can’t do everything alone.  It’s nice to have others to laugh, sweat, cry, and chat with.

To swallow my pride and ask for help when I need it

I’m switching perspectives for this heading from athletic to scholarly because it makes this more personally palatable.  Everyone knows that each person has a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses in varying degrees.  If you struggle with a concept, chances are one of your interlocutors has a better grasp.

All the great thinkers, especially the ancient and medieval, understood this.  It’s why they discoursed with each other, posed questions to people they met, and taught.  The Great Conversation was—and still is—a team effort.  Additionally, there was no reason to get offended at a differing opinion because it broadened everyone’s horizons.  It was a win-win, so there wasn’t any need to be envious or jealous of their colleague’s abilities. (If you couldn’t tell, I’ve struggled with that, too.)

To be willing to serve others instead of lead

I have never desired leadership roles that much.  However, dance is the exception.  I’ll be honest; it’s really upset me when I’ve seen others land those roles I’ve believed I’ve deserved more.  It pains me greatly to admit it.  Then, I remember a piece of wisdom that’s stuck with me: That the success of others does not hinder nor diminish my accomplishments.  Pride truly is poisonous.

To not expect others to adhere to my personal standards

This does not mean there are absolutely no guidelines or expectations.  Those are set by the leaders.  However, everybody learns differently and at their own pace.  It is unkind to get exasperated at another teammate because he or she is not “getting it” as fast as you’d want.

~

Those are the essentials I’ve thought about.  If I left anything out, please comment.  I really do appreciate the feedback.

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