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Olympic Size Disappointment - Are any of us Really Surprised?

In a nation full of superstars one has to wonder why we fail so often as a team. The Olympic Team did not fail because of the number of gold medals won or lost. The Olympic Team failed because they were anything but a team.

The amazing athletes that represented the United States in the Olympic Games should be both honored and respected. These same Olympians, however, should remind us about how we succeed or fail as a team.

The greatest images of any team, whether it be an Olympic Team or any sports team is not them holding a medal, a trophy or some other symbol of their accomplishment. The greatest images are the camaraderie, the banning together, the images that exemplify and glorify what it means to be a team.

In a nation full of some of the most talented men and women in every field it is somewhat disconcerting that we do not accomplish more in our individual professions. With so much talent the possibilities for success are nearly boundless.

Perhaps it is the talent itself that is our biggest obstacle as so many people try to be everything rather than something. Rather than being a cog in a highly successful wheel, they try to be the wheel.

Even in a profession as seemingly simple as website designing and marketing, we see this same flaw time and time again. Rather than building a team of talented people, each a superstar in his or her own area of expertise, every superstar tries to do it all and in the end accomplishes nothing.

Team building is probably the most important need in any and every business, yet team building is one of the most overlooked, underfunded, undervalued resources.

The most successful companies understand the importance of team building. A successful team starts with assembling the most talented staff and then working with that staff to foster a team atmosphere and a team mentality where the entire team shares in success and works together to overcome disappointment.

The natural competitiveness in all of us often leads us to ignore the team and concentrate on the individual. The measure of success becomes the success of the individual rather than the success of the team.

Think about how much a team can accomplish when the natural competitiveness in all of us leads us to not compete with our colleagues and team mates, but compete with other teams, obstacles or tasks.

When we watch a group of small children playing together or working together on a project like building a snowman or a clubhouse we can learn a lot from them. When they are working together towards a common goal with no thoughts of "I" but just of working together as a team, it is amazing what this group can accomplish.

Unfortunately, if you take that same group of children and assemble them 20 years later as adults, that same team would likely be unable to agree on how to make a snowball rather than a snowman.

When we learn as a culture to value teamwork and the success of a team there is no telling what our teams in the business world, medical world and sports world will accomplish. When we value team building above star building we may start to truly see the amazing things we can accomplish.

The Olympic Team did not fail us, we failed the Olympic Team just as we fail team after team by not valuing team accomplishments as highly as we value individual accomplishments.

In a Nation of the most talented men and women in every field of business, sport and entertainment it is only a matter of time before this talent bans together and forms teams that will go down in history for accomplishing more than any individual can ever hope to accomplish and then as a nation we will finally understand the importance of team building.

David Casey, SetSitesHigh ( works on a team of website designers, developers, marketers and SEO experts that emphasize the team approach to web design and development.