I talked with a chaplain recently about his late grandfather who competed in horse-pulling contests. Yes, horse pulling. That’s a reality show I haven’t seen yet. The horses would be hitched up to a log or stone, or anything else that might be handy. The object was to see whose team could pull the most.
His grandfather won numerous awards at fairs and rodeos. He would train his draft horses with blocks of concrete. He told the story of one horse-pull where his horse Billy, pulled 2,500 pounds and Barney, pulled 3,000 pounds. Joined together you would think they would pull 5,500 pounds.
But that’s not the case. They actually pulled more than 10,500 pounds when teamed together! How could they do it? It’s a principle called synergism. It is defined as the interaction of elements, that when combined, produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements—this is the power of teamwork! It means that much more can be done in a team effort than can be accomplished alone.
There’s a verse in the Bible that illustrates the principle of synergism, which states, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.
There’s no doubt about it, a team is capable of accomplishing things that no individual, no matter how talented, could ever do alone. Teamwork increases the effectiveness of each member on the team. But, it means we have to pull in the same direction. We can accomplish great things with our team mates; whether in work, marriage, other relationships and in Team March!