What Team USA is Teaching Us About Teamwork in Rio

Team USA’s individual storylines at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are endless. Venus Williams fighting for her 5th gold medal, Simone Biles’s epic floor performance, Katie Ledecky smashing her own world record in the 400m freestyle, Michael Phelps surpassing 20 gold medals and further distancing himself as the most decorated athlete of all time. The list goes on.While these are incredible stories, the applicable lesson for Egnyters is the way these athletes stay committed to their team – Team USA.At Egnyte one of our core values is to “Encourage Teamwork”. As we continue to watch these Olympic games we are learning what it takes to succeed at the highest level, against the best competition in the world, facing tremendous adversity. These athletes’ stories correlate so well to what we are doing at Egnyte in terms of accomplishing something great (winning a medal) and coming together for a greater cause (winning the olympic games for your country).Here are some of the most applicable lessons from Team USA in this year’s Olympic games in Rio:The Team is Stronger Than the Individual

Right after winning a gold with the women’s gymnastics team Laurie Hernandez said it all: “We work hard everyday. It’s hard to do things by yourself, but as a team you can go so far.”What Laurie said applies to more than just gymnastics. It applies to all of us. While we all work hard every day in our silos, the work we do together as a team is what can really take us far. While this does not take away from what the individual does, it alludes to the fact that we are always stronger as part of a team.Teamwork Takes Practice

Team USA’s David Boudia and Steele Johnson put together a beautiful string of dives on Monday night to secure a Silver medal in the men’s synchronized diving competition. If you were lucky enough to watch their masterful performance, you know that was no fluke.David and Steele have been swimming and training together for nearly 10 years, creating a bond that they referred to as “more than teammates; like a brotherhood”. Day in and day out they trained together, for hours on end to get their routine just right.The result was dives with truly world-class coordination, precision, and timing. So although planning and preparation can be repetitive and monotonous, it is vital to the team’s success.Always Be SupportiveOne of the highlights of the Olympic coverage has been all the support the various teams are showing for each other. For example, Alex Morgan, a captain of the US women’s soccer team, was very vocal in voicing her team’s support for the women’s gymnastics team via Twitter.

The most notable example of support, though, was Tuesday when the US men’s basketball team was cheering on Michael Phelps and the US men’s swim team. They were in the stands cheering them on, loud and proud, making their support felt. And the men on the swim team could feel it. They went on to win gold in dominating fashion.At work we should be doing the same for our respective teams. We should always be giving our co-workers praise and support for whatever they are working on and working towards. In doing so we make everyone feel more encouraged and motivated, as well as providing a sense of comfort that we have each other’s backs.You Win as a Team, You Lose as a TeamAs it is with any sport, there are winners and losers. And as great as Team USA is, we don’t win gold in every single event. What is important, though, is how the team wins and loses.

No matter the outcome, the teams come together to congratulate each other on their journey and appreciate all the hard work they have put in to get there. The US men’s and women’s rugby teams, for example, did not receive any medals. Rather than point fingers and throw blame at individuals, both teams were seen hugging, high-fiving, and enduring the loss as a team.The same should be done when projects fail or don’t necessarily go as planned. Not every project or deal will be perfect and it is natural for things to go wary from time to time, but it is very important not to point fingers or place blame. We need to ensure the successes, and the failures, as a team. This is critical for the long-term success of a team and will put everyone in a much better place for the future.As you watch the rest of the 2016 Olympic games, let them be a reminder of the value of teamwork and what it means to be a real teammate. Although it is easy to get caught up in your own individual goals and responsibilities, your team is what matters the most when it comes to achieving real success.

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Colin Jordan

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