Team Jazz

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From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford

I have been thinking a lot about teamwork this past week. I sometimes think that the term needs a makeover.

What does teamwork really mean? Of course, there is the old analogy that one piece of spaghetti is broken with almost no effort, whereas a whole pile is almost unbreakable even if a couple of pieces are weak inside the pile. Conversely there is the weakest link analogy, a long chain can be broken if only one link is not strong. So which is it – are we unbreakable noodles or a series of links ready to fall to pieces?

Here is my conclusion – both analogies are too passive. A team is neither links waiting to break or a bunch of spaghetti waiting for a disaster to strike. A team is about empowerment, respect, communication and common goals. A team is a collection or people with different skills, strengths, passions and weaknesses.

A team, in my opinion, is much more active, always rearranging – like a jazz band. It always sounds like its piece is rehearsed, polished and exactly right. Even if some members have an off-night or a few instruments are out of tune, together every solo, harmony and note fits perfectly – and no two performances are ever the same.

We’re better together. Many thanks for the part that you play in our song.

Teresa Jordan

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