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January 2, 2005

Part of a Team

Tonight Iím watching Danteís Peak on TV. I liked this movie the first time I saw it. Of course, I like Pierce Brosnan and he was cool and clever as ever. As I was watching this movie, I noticed the teamwork and camaraderie between the members of the USGS team that came to Danteís Peak to check out the Volcano. This reminded me of my Army days.
I was part of a team. In a team everyone works toward a common mission. Everyone helps each other. This is one thing I have not felt in most of the jobs Iíve held in the past 19 years. The last job I had was a team, but unfortunately it ended because of the ownerís greed. The company went under and I had to find a new job.
Itís funny how I made this connection, but Paul, the boss of the team in the movie wasnít being a team member and he died. In my old company, the boss of our team wasnít being a team member and his company went under. We all got other jobs, he went to jail. It was sad.
Being part of a team feels great. There is a connection between each team member. But to really have a good team we need good team leaders or the team doesnít last. It eventually splits up or crashes. Usually not by the team members doing, but poor decisions by the team leader.
Our team is humanity, and this is why itís so important to pick leaders that are really part of the team. So as a human being, part of the human race, what is it we want? Where are the leaders who are really part of our team?

Posted by carl1236 at January 2, 2005 10:31 PM


Interesting concept John - humanity as a team. I've often found when arguing with those who are diametrically opposed to me politically/ideologically that we often want to achieve the same ends, more or less. It's just that we disagree vehemently on how to reach those ends. For some folks, only certain means are acceptable for achieving the desired ends. I was talking awhile back to a woman who is a very committed Christian and a very committed Republican, mostly, I think, because of various hot-button social issues like abortion, etc. I'm a social libertarian and an atheist, so you can imagine the level of disagreement we have. Anyway, once we agreed that reducing the number of abortions performed was a generally good idea, we came to an impasse over how to do it. For her, unmarried people having protected sex that didn't lead to unwanted pregnancy was just as undesirable an outcome as if they were getting pregnant and having abortions as a means of regular birth control. Let's just say that I view myself as a pragmatist and I disagreed with her, because I thought her solution, as quaint and idealistic as it was, was not workable and is, in fact, a proven failure. I don't want to set off an abortion debate on your site, but I want to make a larger point: a team can only work when the goals and the mechanisms for meeting those goals can be universally agreed upon. When those agreements don't exist, and suitable compromises can't be made (as in the case I just illustrated), the only option is to fractionate into various interest groups and to form alliances against common adversaries. Hence, the birth of divisive partisan politics. I think it's one thing to have a team of 5 or 10 or 100 people who are committed to a realitively simple task like producing X number of widgets for Y number of dollars. It's quite another when the team involves thousands, millions, or billions of people who all have different needs and agendas and personality conflicts and varying levels of committment and a fuzzy understanding, at best, of the desired end.

In this light, how would you suggest we approach laying out common goals for the broad spectrum of humanity? Or am I just being too cynical?

Posted by: Jim at January 2, 2005 11:30 PM

PS: I thought you were going to start posting your blogs earlier in the evening? A good night's rest is important for your training regimen.

Posted by: Jim at January 2, 2005 11:32 PM

Haha, yes, my posts are earlier! Notice that most of my entries have been posted around midnight. Now I'm closer to 10:00 - 10:30, right about the time I'm going to bed now. I'll change that again once I get a consistant exercise routine planned, which I'm working on.

I'll respond to your other questions also. I think you brought up some good points that deserve a thoughtful answer. I'll write more on my views on this topic during this week.

Posted by: John at January 3, 2005 12:02 PM