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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Karavattuveetil

“Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!”

Latin for “All for one and one for all” as enthusiastically shouted by the Three Musketeers in Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 novel. Translation – All members of a particular group should work for the benefit of the whole and the larger group should work for the benefit of each individual. However, what does it mean for your life and the different roles in which you hold? At work or at home, in what situations are you seen as running independently and when running together?

The strongest and most effective teams have clear individual expectations of every player. There are specific and foundational behaviors that can be counted on from each member, no matter their role or situation. This may be in the form of consistently delivered values, such as respect or honesty. From an outside perspective, the group is seen as operating as one, not multiple units going in different directions. Every member’s behavior counts toward their individual success and is also a reflection of the larger group.

As a family, are there certain characteristics that anyone interacting with you or one of yours, can depend on? For some, that may be timeliness, or habitual tardiness. What are you and your family known for? Make it clear what family members can count on from one another as well as the outside world. I would sometimes say to my kids in frustration, “you have to live with the decisions you make.” In some ways this was washing my hands of their choices. The reality is, we all must live with the decisions made by others. The opportunity is to recognize that fact and hold everyone appropriately accountable.

Organizationally, do your customers perceive you and the other members of your team as one cohesive unit or separate and independent service providers? Best case scenario, there is a great alignment between what is hanging on your walls and listed on your website and actual behaviors exhibited by your team members. In some cases, the result may be in seamless transitions from one department to another, no cracks in the foundation. In others, there is consistency in the helpfulness of individuals no matter the issue or time. The question is what do individuals see as the larger impact of their choices and behaviors. Also, how do organizational decisions affect individual team member performance and satisfaction.

"We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Words Ben Franklin so famously stated during the signing of the Declaration of Independence, highlighting the impact of every person’s decision in that historic moment. We have similar opportunities each and every day. The choices we make significantly influence the teams of which we are a part, and vice versa. During these especially challenging times, keep an eye on the larger influence you are having. “All for one and one for all!”

Enjoy the journey!


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