Teamwork is the key to success when presenting a property insurance case in the courtroom or while racing a sailboat to Hawaii. I appreciate teamwork a lot more after completing the recent Transpacific Yacht Race on Merlin to Hawaii. 

The truth is that teams can be much stronger and more effective than individuals at just about anything we do. Yet, when it comes time for rewards and accolades, we often overlook the individual thoughts, efforts, and actions of individuals who comprise the team. 

Martin Luther King is my lifetime hero. During his Noble Peace Prize acceptance speech, he made the following comments which I thought were remarkably appropriate regarding teamwork and the unknown, behind-the-scenes efforts which make teams successful:

Every time I take a flight, I am always mindful of the many people who make a successful journey possible – the known pilots and the unknown ground crew.

So you honor the dedicated pilots of our struggle who have sat at the controls as the freedom movement soared into orbit. You honor, once again, Chief Lutuli of South Africa, whose struggles with and for his people, are still met with the most brutal expression of man’s inhumanity to man. You honor the ground crew without whose labor and sacrifices the jet flights to freedom could never have left the earth. Most of these people will never make the headline and their names will not appear in Who’s Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvellous age in which we live – men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization – because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness’ sake.

In Mavericks & Merlins: Sailors And Renegades Leave Shore, What About You?, I wrote the following about teamwork: 

The practice of empowering people, emboldening them, and letting them know that they have the power and flexibility to do their jobs in the best way possible leads to effective teamwork, whereas denigrating, controlling, and intimidating people leads to tribalism within the team, a lack of motivation, and a systemic pattern of mediocracy. I believed that an empowered leadership at the head of Team Merlin would lead to an empowered crew willing to go that extra mile to win races. And as it turned out, I was right. You can only win a sailboat race if everyone works together in harmony, like that proverbial well-oiled machine. 

To do that requires a collective understanding and appreciation of the mission—to win the race—and the knowledge of how to work the wind, waves, and tidal currents to best advantage to arrive at the desired outcome.

The Merlin Law Group is successful because of our dedicated staff, whom most people never hear about. Our policyholder clients are served by people who do their jobs well and make our superstar lawyers even better. 

I am certain that most of us can be more successful in whatever endeavors we try in life if we simply try to make the teams we work in better and more cohesive. It is also a lot more fun working with people with a shared mission and passion for success rather than doing something all by yourself. 

Thought For The Day

Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.

—Jim Rohn