“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision: The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Andrew Carnegie
We were reminded again of the value of teamwork this weekend, when news of the success of the Twin Valley schools teams at the Jr. Iron Chef Vermont began to circulate. Once again we were reminded of how teamwork can be invaluable in achieving success, in this case more winning teams at the statewide cooking competition.
“When he took time to help the man up the mountain, lo, he scaled it himself.” Tibetan Proverb
As we were working on this week’s article about the Jr. Iron Chef Vermont competition, we were struck by a couple of themes that were repeated again and again.
It seemed that whenever we talked with someone about what it took to not only compete in the events, but to be successful, the same things were being said by coaches and organizers. The event was about teamwork, certainly. But within those teams, certain patterns arose. They were flexible, willing to go in different directions with their recipes if they felt the results could be better. The teams were competitive, certainly, but also willing to share a utensil or an ingredient if some other team was in need. The teams were also supportive of others, wanting to do well themselves but also more than willing to cheer for another team’s success.
Certainly there are lessons to be learned, not only for the student chefs who participated but also for the adults who coached, organized, and cheered the teams on.
Another theme that clearly stood out was that competition breeds success. By holding a qualifying event two weeks before the state competition, Twin Valley teams have already had their trial by fire. They know what to expect when the bell rings and their time begins. That’s why local teams continue to succeed on a statewide basis. They’re prepared.
Jr. Iron Chef coaches said over and over that a big part of why their student teams did so well was the preparation, the collaborative approach during their practice times, and the local cook-off. All of those things are great life lessons for the students who participate.
They’re also great life lessons for everyone.