What makes a team a team? What makes a group of men and women qualify as a team? Coming together doesn’t make a group a team. Having a stated goal doesn’t make a team. Wearing a uniform doesn’t make a team. Working under the same leadership doesn’t make a team. A team is formed when the constituting members go to work together on the goal—when they pass the ball or responsibility around, knowing that tapping into each other's strength is the only way real progress is achieved.
What makes legacy? Is legacy just money given to another person? Is legacy limited to property passed on to a son or daughter? Is legacy just a gift given by a departing parent or guardian to an heir or heiress? What makes legacy lasting—more than just a gift? Legacy endures when a receiving generation makes it a duty to successfully passes on what was passed to them.
What is tradition? Is tradition just a set of beliefs? Is tradition just the way things are done? Is tradition what our parents what try to shove down our throats, praying we re-live the values of the good old days? Tradition is about handing down—passing along. It’s about transmitting and transferring to the next was once transferred to you.
What is the common thread between a team, legacy, and tradition? The common thread is passing along what was passed to you. Whether it's between team members or trans-generationally between family members, values are concretized, goals are achieved, and momentum is sustained when members of a functional system make it a duty to pass it on to the next player.
Recently, a member of my team piqued my brain on what she could look out for when determining in whom she should invest. I came up with just one criteria—one I thought was most important when it came to developing leaders for the long haul. Here were my words:
“Pour into people who are committed to pouring into others. Pass the ball to people who will, in turn, pass the ball to others. Invest in conduits, not containers. Conduits multiply your efforts and cement the momentum of the group."