Teamwork and Leadership

Teamwork and leadership are the keys to success in just about any realm.  Cycling seems to be the epitome of this.  Teammates absolutely bury themselves for the success of their team leader. 

What we have with the ProTour team Astana is quite possibly the greatest Grand Tour team in history, with the greatest Tour rider in history, being Lance Armstrong, the guy that may well surpass Lance, in Alberto Contador, and to top it off, Levi Leipheimer, who is an incredibly talented Tour rider who has been on the cusp of winning it all for several years, if not for the other two.

So what do you do with when a team, be it at work, on the bike, or in some other type of organization?  See what Astana has done.

This what I see as one of the greatest examples in our day of selflessness and humility.  This is  3 guys, all who have the ability to win the big races, committed to the success of the team.  All of them are ready and willing to make sure whoever is best for that particular race is on top of the podium.  Could Alberto have attacked Levi on the last climb of Castilla?  Certainly.  Could Levi cover that attack and hang on to his lead?  Who knows. 

But to Team Astana, it doesn’t matter.  Levi was leading and it was his race.  Alberto chose to humble himself and serve Levi.  And when they both stood on the final podium, Levi washed Alberto’s feet.  He gave the honor to Alberto for his humble service for Levi’s success.  And to the other members of Team Astana who ride everyday knowing they may not stand on top of the podium, but know that with their hard work and dedicated service, one of their teammates will. 

And so it ought to be with us.  My wife and I meet in a group of couples on a weekly basis to share our lives together.  The purpose of the group is for us to help and encourage each other through life’s tough times.  It is to learn from each other.  And for us all to be the best we can be in every aspect of our lives, not for ourselves, but for the glory of God. 

This group has many people who have been leaders in their various capacities in life and it is natural for some of those leadership qualities to exhibit themselves in this group.  It surely needs leadership to be able to accomplish its purpose.  The problem is, like with Team Astana, there may be too many leaders.  But unlike Team Astana, the leaders are all wanting to be the guy on top of the podium.  Certainly they understand that there must be teamwork to accomplish the goal, and that we must all work together, but these leaders seem to be missing the one thing that makes Team Astana great: the ability to humble themselves. 

You see, what make the leaders of Team Astana great, is not that they all have the ability to win, but that they have the ability to serve.  Sometimes the greatest thing a leader can do is follow. 

So what does this mean for me?  Well, in discussing the future of this group with a mentor, he informed me that the group sees me as a leader.  What a great honor to be mentioned as such.  But that also means that I must be part of the problem with this group.  It means that if I expect the leaders of this group to serve, I must be the first to do so.  It means that I must be sure to humble myself and do my best to serve whoever is best suited at the time to win the race.  It means that the greatest thing I can do for this group, as a leader of the group, is to follow.  And follow I will.



~ by Velosophy Esq. on March 31, 2009.

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