Every teammate has a liability that can limit the team. Not every liability has to be a limitation. Teammates that are self-aware of their own liabilities are valuable because they can own the need for other teammates to transcend what they are not capable of alone. Their liability is covered by the rest of the team when they allow it to be. The worst kind of teammate isn’t willing to acknowledge their liabilities and therefore the team is limited.
People who refuse to lower their standards fail often. They fail so often that they learn that failure is a friend they shouldn’t be ashamed of being associated with. They get frustrated with the status quo and they believe that the impossible can be done. They surround themselves with people that also believe in the impossible and eventually they learn that the impossible is reserved for those that believe enough to fail, learn, work, and win. Once that pattern is discovered, the stubbornness that got them their first victory gets reinforced and they look at the skeptics of success with a confident smirk.
People who have never truly been successful have been transformed into skeptics of success. Their dry spell has caused them to lower their standards and disbelieve in the validity of the success of others. “They couldn’t really achieve what I have come to realize doesn’t really exist. If that elusive success is real, then why haven’t I stumbled upon it? I work just as hard as they do. They must have sold their soul and cheated in some way. People with pure motivations and great integrity never really succeed as much as people who are willing to cross the line. I will learn to be content with a lower bar so that I don’t have to feel constant failure or violate my conscience.”
Experience transforms us. Some people are changed into someone who will “never do that again” based on some unpleasant experience in the past. Others on the team understand the way a victory can erase the pain and scars that it took to achieve it. Both types have a hard time understanding the other. One doesn’t see the work of the team as a burden but a path. The other doesn’t ever see the light at the end of the tunnel so they try to make the tunnel as comfortable as possible.
Freedom of thought is scary, but it’s the only way to break out of the self imposed prison of fear. Freedom to fail is a freedom to learn. Take that away and the only learning that occurs is how to avoid the judgement of those that see failure as something to be maligned. I was once in a team meeting where it was said that everything was on the table for consideration and immediately the leader blurted out what was not on the table. Clearly a freedom of thought was not present in the rest of the meeting and potential options were not considered.