The U in Team


By: Shane Essex

There are all kinds of teams in the world.. sports teams, academic teams, professional teams, military teams, advisory teams, action teams and even virtual teams. Despite their obvious differences, the one thing each of these teams has in common is their reliance on the individual members and their unique contributions to the group. There’s a saying about the strength of a team as determined by its ‘weakest’ member. The reality is, a team’s strength is determined by the groups inherent ability to pull each other’s weight!

Ever heard the saying, “…there’s no I in team” ? The concept of people looking out for themselves, while operating under the guise of a team, is both incredulous and insulting. Teams are meant to exploit the strengths of its members, for the good of the entire group. TEAM is defined as ‘a group consisting of members with complementary skills, which collectively generate synergy through a coordinated effort, allowing each member to maximize his/her strengths and minimize his/her weaknesses. So, what makes a good writing team?

A writing team is usually two or three people, whose musical styles are similar and complimentary. Sometimes though, the best writing teams consist of members who are so vastly different, they can’t help but compliment each other. In order to cultivate a strong writing partnership, there are a few simple rules of thumb:

1. Check your ego at the door. Nobody cares, and If you walk into a co‐write with an abundance of
self‐esteem, it will likely come off worse than if you stepped in a dog pile on your way in the building.

2. Listen more, talk less. The key to any good communicator is to be a good listener. People love to hear
themselves talk, and they will ramble about nothing, just to savor the sound of their own voice.
Approach writing as a way to learn from others, and what better way to learn, than to listen.

3. Pick up the slack. The best team members aren’t those who set the pace… they’re the ones who
sacrifice for the member who’s struggling. If you see potential in the song, don’t quit.. pick up the slack
and get your TEAM across the finish line.

It’s true, there is no I in team. There’s also no U in team, but sometimes, YOU are just what the team needs. Writing music can be liberating, therapeutic and empowering… but only if you commit to the write, and everyone is on board. The best way to ensure this happens, is to put the song first, and be the U every team needs!