The Hindu, 14 Dec. 2008, features an article titled “Team play, mind games” by T.M. Krishna.  The article discusses some of the unpleasant truths that lie behind the assertions of teamwork by musicians. 

For instance, during a concert a vocalist may choose to do something that has not been planned, thereby causing the accompanists to make mistakes.  In this way the vocalist communicates to the audience his or her expertise and the accompanists’ incompetence.  On their part accompanists sign up to play at several concerts on the same day without factoring the travel time between performance venues – often delaying the start of the concert and thus embarrassing the singer.

In the ‘Times Ascent’ pages of the Times of India, 7 Feb. 2007, Prof. Rooshikumar Pandya lists poor time management, lack of teamwork and lack of accountability as the three challenges that Indian businesses face.  On the lack of teamwork, he theorises that centuries of invasions across the sub-continent have left people with a deep rooted sense of insecurity.

Reading both articles it becomes clear that the absence of teamwork arises from an absence of security – the fear that if another is appreciated I will be overlooked.  Hence, to win appreciation for myself, I must discredit those around me.

So, how do we overcome insecurity?  Instead of working to tear down the other, what would happen if we worked to make the other look good?  Could we actually be edifying ourselves when we edify others?