Student Leadership: Teamwork

This week, we discussed the importance of teamwork and relying on others. During our lecture period, we had the opportunity to listen to Tom Holmoe, BYU’s athletic director. He discussed the importance of learning to work effectively with others. One of the things he mentioned that I found very interesting was the 5 stages of relationships. Let me share that with you.

The 5 Stages of Relationships

  1. Surface Relationship: No commitment from either person (store clerk, waiter, etc.)
  2. Structured Relationship: Common interest or activity (associate at school, work, church, etc.)
  3. Secure Relationship: People desire to spend time together.
  4. Solid Relationship: Develop complete trust and absolute confidence.
  5. Significant Relationship: People give beyond reason and they lift you up to a level you couldn’t achieve without them.

It’s interesting to look at the relationships you have with others based on this scale. Even as I was checking out at the grocery store the other day, I was reminded of this scale and how that was solely a surface relationship, but I didn’t do anything to increase the level of the relationship. I wonder what would happen if I tried to increase the level of all my relationships. I think that would be a good thing to know how to do – gain the confidence and trust of others as you work to develop a better relationship with them, even if it is just asking how their day is going as opposed to just sitting in silence. This week, I will strive to increase the level of my relationships, especially with those in my Relief Society. I think it would be  worthwhile effort to gain more trust of those under my stewardship, because they need to trust me if they are going to follow me.

Another story that Mr. Holmoe told that I found very inspirational was that of Brenden Gaskins.

This is Brenden Gaskins, a former BYU football player.  He transferred to BYU his sophomore year of college, with hopes to be a quarterback on the football team. He was in the same year as Max Hall, who you might be familiar with, and Max was clearly the number one quarterback. Brenden got placed as number three quarterback, but after the second QB received an injury, Brenden got moved up to number two. For a couple years, the team played with Max as the first string QB and Brenden as second string. Brenden was pretty good; although not as good as Max, he was still an excellent player. Then, his senior year playing football, a student transferred to BYU. His name was Riley Nelson. Riley had played his freshman year at Utah State, and transferred to BYU as a sophomore. He, too, was a pretty good quarterback. Since Max was first string, during summer practice, he took about 75% of the snaps. The remaining 25% were divided between Riley and Brenden, and they were competing for second string. During this time, Max was just getting better and better, but Riley and Brenden were both staying at about the same level – neither was getting any better. Then, one day, Brenden approached Riley and told him that he had been thinking about the situation, and he would like to step down let Riley take all 25% of the snaps, since Riley would still be there the following year. Riley was likely a bit astounded, asked if he was sure, and when Brenden said yes, they decided to take the idea to Max. They told Max that they wanted Riley to take more snaps, and that Brenden would step down so this could happen. The three of them then took the idea to Bronco (head coach), and when he approved, they put the plan into motion. Brenden stepped down, and Riley started taking 25% of the snaps and started improving wildly. Brenden’s sacrifice was truly helping the team at present, and would help in the future as well.
Then, Mr. Holmoe told us that in the first game after this decision was made, he looked out to the field, and who did he see but Brenden Gaskins! However, he was not playing quarterback. He was playing tight end, then he was playing wide receiver….he was all over the place. After the game, Mr. Holmoe asked Bronco what was going on. Bronco responded by telling Mr. Holmoe that after Brenden stepped down, the team told Bronco that no matter what it took, he had to get Brenden on the field. No matter what.

That story amazes me. Not only was Brenden so willing to step down for the benefit of the team, but the team supported him so strongly.

I think it is of the utmost importance to support your “team”, whatever the situation. We all need to learn to rely on our “teammates” and trust that they will be there to support us. We need to make sacrifices on behalf of those we are working with – the phrase “take one for the team” is not just slang anymore! We need to be willing to give things up for the betterment of others.

This week in Relief Society, especially with my presidency, I will strive to increase the level of our relationship and improve the trust we have with each other. Hopefully I will be able to help all of my “team” realize that we do need to make sacrifices for our RS and that we will all be there to support each other in every decision. Effective teamwork is of the utmost importance.

This week’s challenge: Improve your team by improving your relationships.

TTFN! Ta ta for now!

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