I came across a note recently where a person was enquiring about membership in a band. They were interested in this band because they wanted to “get better”. This person needed the band “to kick their arse” so that they’d play better, be better.
I thought this strange. I thought this person had the whole thing backwards.
Of course, the number one responsibility of any team member, and for a moment let’s think of a pipe band as a team (though this rule of membership responsibility applies to any team, anywhere), is to raise the team higher.
When we’re on a team our number one objective is to do all we can to make that team better; to help make the team become the best it can be and realize its potential.
The team is not in place to act as the cushion in your brogues, a kilted personal trainer, a sort of sweat-inducing ab master. “Make me better pipe band”, should never be any member’s motivating words.
It doesn’t matter what level of experience a team, a pipe band, is at in its development. If every member seeks to do everything within their ability to improve themselves, and improve the team, then not only will they fulfill their number one responsibility, they will also – surprise – see great advances in their own ability. It’s one of the great spin-off effects of working to make the team the best it can be.
Pipe band membership is about us all doing what we can to help realize band potential: be present, be engaged, draw on your stengths to support those around you, seek out all available resources to help you do your best so you can be your best, contribute thoughtful and considered ideas in a timely way but be prepared to support the greater good of the group – and listen.
Again, when we work to elevate the band, we all end up heading in the same direction.
It ain’t the other way ’round.
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