Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

We’ve all heard it: “There is no ‘I’ in team.” But I challenge that. Because you must make a conscious decision to be part of a team — and therefore let go of your individual ego — if the team is to be successful.

Now I will admit it: I am about as hard-headed as a brick wall at home. I have the, “No, no, I’ll do it myself,” attitude, which for years has driven my family crazy. It’s often easier to do it myself than to take the time to explain what I need done or, worse, how I want it done.

So, OK, I am a control freak. I’m letting that freak flag fly.

But, at work, I am a whole different woman. There is something almost mystical that happens when you’re on a team. Recently, I was blessed to be part of a team that did some amazing work. No one, absolutely no single person, no matter how talented, could have done what the team did. I am talking Herculean task stuff.

As a team, with the team leader assessing everyone’s strengths and then assigning tasks to those strengths, a mountain was moved.  

I mean, did you ever think about the pack mentality? (I know, I’ve been watching too many of these nature shows on BBC.) None of those creatures would eat without the pack; none would be safe without the pack. Alone, you die; with the pack, you survive.

I admit it’s not always easy since we have different personalities at play. But when you let go of that individual ego and see what the team can accomplish together — no matter what you are like as an individual — you can have incredible team dynamics (especially when you do have an awesome team leader who “gets” everyone!).

I’m sitting here today sipping a cup of tea and reflecting on that project. How being part of a whole, we accomplished something that no individual could. And how that is what defines greatness for an organization.

So, this is a shout out to my leaders and team members, and advice to my dear readers: Be a pack, not a lone wolf. It’s the best thing EVER!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.